The works of William Bridge, sometime fellow of Emanuel Colledge in Cambridge; now preacher of the Word of God at Yarmouth. The first volume. Viz. I. The great Gospel-mysterie of the saints comfort and holinesse, opened and applyed from Christs priestly office. II. Satans power to tempt; and Christs love to, and care of his people under temptation. III. Thankfulnesse required in every condition.
Bridge, William, 1600?-1670., Yates, John, d. ca. 1660., Greenhill, William, 1591-1671., Adderley, William.
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The great GOSPEL-Mystery Of the SAINTS comfort and holinesse.


HEBREWES. 2.17, 18.
Wherefore in all things it behoved him,* to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful, and a faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation (or atonement) for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

THE Apostle Paul, (whom I take to be the Pen-man of this Epistle) having in the former part of this Chapter, shewed the Reasons, why it behoved Christ for to suffer death: He comes now, in the lat∣ter end thereof, to give you an account, by laying down some Reasons, Why it Page  2behoved Christ, to be in all things made like unto us, whom the Apostle here cals the Brethren of Jesus Christ.

In other Scriptures we find, that our Lord and Saviour Christ, is called our Father, The everlasting Father, the Prince of peace. Here he is called our Brother, we his Brethren. Now the same Person, to be both a Father, and a Brother unto the same man, in nature it cannot be.

But because all these Relations, are to scant, and narrow Vessels to hold forth the love of Jesus Christ towards us: Therefore Inconsistent Relations are given unto him. A Father Provides for his child, which the brother doth not. A Brother can stoop, and condesend unto his brother, which the superiority of the Father will not bear. So that here is held forth unto us, the stooping, Condesending love of Jesus Christ: and therfore he is called our Brother, and we his Brethren.

But why, [Quest.] and what Reason is there, That the Lord Jesus Christ should in all things be made like unto us his Bre∣thren?

The Apostle in these words gives the Reason, [Answ.] That he might be a merciful, and a faithful high Priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, &c. The Lord God our Father, swear unto Jesus Christ, Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek. He was to be the great high Priest. Among the Jews, in the times of the old Testament, they had an high Priest, that was in all things to stand between God and them, and in case any sinned, to make an atonement for them. As the Jewes had their High Priest: So the Lord Jesus Christ, he was to be, and he is, The Apostle, and the High Priest of our Christian professi∣on, as Aaron was of the Jewes profession. And therefore saies the Apostle, It behoved him, in all things to be made like unto us.

But could not Jesus Christ be merciful unto poor tempted souls, [Quest.] unless he were in all things made like to them: like in their Natures, like in their Affections, like in matter of Temptations.

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Christ as God, could have been merciful unto us, [Ans.] although he had not been made like unto us: but not as our High Priest.

There is an ability of Sufficiency, and of Power: and so Christ as God, was able to succour those that are temp∣ted, although himself had never been tempted. But there is an ability of Idoneity, or Fitness, or Aptness and Dis∣position: and so the Apostle saies here, For in that Himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

It's plain then, what that is, that is the great support of a Christian against all Temptations: wherein lies our suc∣cour against all Temptation, namely, in the Priestly-Office of Jesus Christ.

The Priestly-Office of Christ, Is it the great Magazine, and Stonehouse, of all that Grace, and Comfort which we have on this side Heaven: It is that, whereby we are reconciled to God the Fa∣ther, and relieved against all temptation. This is the great thing that these words hold forth.

And therefore, upon this account, the Apostle Paul, finding the Hebrewes labouring under great Temptations, Doubtings, Fears, and much Unbeleef; he does not only here, but all along in this book of the Hebrews, open the Priestly Office of Christ unto them.

And indeed, what comfort can we have in God Himself, but through Christ? and what comfort can we have in Christ Himself, but as he is cloathed with his Prestly-Gar∣ment, with his Office of the High Priest? Whatsoever com∣fort we have in the other Offices of Christ, namely his King∣ly, and his Prophetical Office, it is all Originated, and Prin∣cipiated in this: The Priestly Office of Jesus Christ, it does give a Life, and Being, and Efficacy to both the other Offi∣ces. And therefore, the High Priest, in the times of the old Testament, (who was a Type of Christ) he wore a Crown, upon his head, and the breast-plate of Ʋrim, and Thummim upon his breast: showing, that both the other Offices, the Kingly, and the Prophetical Office, were planted upon the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ.

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Yea, If you look into the, First, Second, and Third Chapters of the Revelation, you will find, that whatsoever streames of comfort did run down upon the Churches through the other Titles, and Attributes of God, they are all fountain'd here. In the Second Chapter, and the first verse. The Lord Christ hath this Title, That he holdeth the seven stars in his right hand! These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand. In the Eight verse writing unto the Church of Smyrna, he takes up another Title, or Attribute: These things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive. At the Twelf verse, writing un∣to the Church of Pergamus, he takes up another Title: These things saith he, who hath the sharp sword with two edges. Now look into the first Chapter, and you shall see, that those several Titles, wherewith he cloaths Himself when he speaks unto the Churches severally, are all summed up to∣gether at the 16. verse. And he had in his right hand seven stars; There's his Title unto the Church of Ephesus: And out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: There's his Ti∣tle unto the Church of Pergamus. And at the 18. verse. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for ever more; There's another Title, that he useth when he speak∣eth unto the Church of Smyrna. But in the 13. vers. is o∣pened the fountain of all these streams: In the midst of the seven candlesticks, I saw me like unto the Son of man, cloathed with a garment down to the foot; and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. This was then the robe and attyre of the High Priest: Whose garment came down unto his feet, and he was girt about with a golden girdle. So that all these other Attributes, and Titles of Christ, they have their rise here, here is the spring-head of all those consolations, even the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ.

Usually, Those Excellencies, and Attributes of Christ are most beneficial unto the Saints, that are most opposed by the world. What Title, Attribute; or Excellency of Christ is there, that is more invaded by the world, than the Page  5Priestly office of Jesus Christ? What is the whole body of Anti-christianisme, but an invasion upon this Priestly Of∣fice of Christ? What is the Popish Masse, (that unbloody sa∣crifice,) but a derogation from the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ once upon the Crosse, and so a derogation from his Priest∣ly Office? What are all those Popish Penances, and satis∣factions injoyn'd, but a derogation unto the satisfaction of Jesus Christ, and so unto the Priestly Office of Christ? What is all their praying to Saints, and Angels, but a de∣rogation unto the Intercession of Jesus Christ, and so unto the Priestly Office of Christ? What does the Pope call himself? He cals himself, the High Priest,* the very Title that our Lord, and Saviour takes unto himself. So that the whole body of Anti-christianisme, is a great invasion upon the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ. Now that which is usually opposed most by the men of the world, that Excellency, and that Attribute of Christ, is of all other the most com∣fortable, and beneficial unto Gods people. The truth is, This Priestly Office of Jesus Christ, is an Office of meer love, and tender compassion; erected, and set up on purpose, for the reliefe of poor distressed sinners; and there is no mix∣ture of terrour with it: there is a mixture of terrour with the other Offices of Christ. The Lord Christ, he is King, and he hath a Kingly Office, and by his Kingly. Office he rules over the Churches, and rules over all the world: But all do not obtain mercy that he rules over. As for those mine Enemies, that will not submit, will not have mee to Reign over them, bring them, and slay them before mee. The Prophetical office of Jesus-Christ, it extendeth unto many that shall never be saved: Light shines in darkness, and darknesse comprehendeth it not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But now, where o∣ver the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ is let forth upon an soul, that soul shall certainly be saved for ever.

What was the great relief amongst the Jewes against their sins? The Jewes, you shall observe they had many reliefs: when they were in the wilderness, and were stung with the Page  6fiery serpents, then they had a brasen-serpent for to look up∣on, as a reliefe against that distresse. When they wanted water, they had the water out of the Rock, as a reliefe a∣gainst that distresse. When they wanted Bread, they had Manna from Heaven, as a reliefe against that distress. But when they sinned, whither did they go? Then they took a sacrifice, and went unto the Priest, and he was to offer for them. So that the Priestly Office then, was the only relief they had against sin.

And so now, the Priestly Office of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is that great succour, and relief which Christians have a∣gainst all Temptations under Heaven.

You will say unto me, [Quest.] But generall things affect not: let us see it in some Particulars, wherein this Priestly Office of Christ, is the great Magazin, and Storehouse of all our grace and comfort.

For Answer, [Ans.] hereunto, I will begin this exercise with one Particular of the Priestly Office of Christ, in shewing what a relief, and succour it is unto a Christian against all Temptations, and what a bottome of comfort, and special means of Grace and Holiness.

The text saies, That the work of the High Priest is, To make reconciliation for the sins of the people. In the times of the old Testament, the High Priest made an Atonement for the people: in case any man had finned, he brought a sacrifice, and his sins were laid upon the head of the sacri∣fice. Once every yeer, the High Priest did enter into the holy of holiest, and with the blood of the Sacrifice, did sprinkle the Mercy-Seat, and laid the sins of the people upon the head of the scape-goat and so made an atonement for the people. All which will cleerly appear, in that, 16. of Liviticus, at the 14. verse. He shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the Mer∣cy-Seat east-ward: and before the Mercy-Seat shall be sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. And at the 21. verse. And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confesse over him all the iniquities of the chil∣dren Page  7of Israel, and all their transgressions, in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness, and so he shall make an atonement, as in that Chapter. This was the work of the High Priest, in case any had finned, to make an atonement, and satisfaction (by way of Type) for the sins of the peo∣ple.

Now for the better proof of this great Gospel-Truth that I have propounded, I shall insist on these Five things.

First, That when the Lord Jesus Christ died upon the Crosse, he did offer up Himself a sacrifice unto God the Father.

Secondly, That when this sacrifice was upon the Altar, then the sins of all beleevers, past, present, and to come, were all laid up∣on Jesus Christ.

Thirdly, That when these sins were thus laid upon Christ, he did thereby give full satisfaction unto God the Father, unto Divine Justice.

Fourthly, That all this he did as our great High-Priest, and in a more Transcendent, and Eminent manner, then ever any High Priest did before him.

Fifthly, How all this doth conduce to our Comfort, and to our Holiness.

First, When our Lord Jesus Christ died upon the Cross, He did offer up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father. He did not (as the Socinians say) die only as an example for to teach us how to die; but he offered up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father then. Yea, as if all sacrifices were met in him; all those titles that are given unto other Sacrifices, they are given unto him. There were Three sorts of Sacrifices: some were living; others were not living, and those were either solid, as bread and the like; or else, they were liquid, as wine and oyle. There was a alwaies, Destructio rei oblatiae, A destroying of the thing offered. If it were a living thing that was sacrificed, then it was said to be slain: In answer to that, Jesus Christ is said to be a Lamb slain from the be∣ginning of the world. If it were a dead thing that was of∣fered up, as bread, or corn, a solid thing, then the sacri∣fice, Page  8or offering was said to be bruised. In answer to that, our Lord and Saviour Christ is said to be bruised for our iniquities. If it were a liquid thing that was offered up to God, as wine, or oyle, then it was said to be powred out. In answer to this, it is said of our Lord and Saviour, That his soul was powred out unto death. Thus all Sacrifices meeting in him. Behold the Lamb of God (saies John the Baptist when he saw Christ.) He does not say, Behold the Bull of God, or the Goat of God; and yet Buls, and Goats were sacrificed. Why does he rather say, behold the Lamb of God, than the Bullock, or the Goat? For when the High Priest went into the Holy of Holiest, and sprinkled the Mercy-Seat, he did not sprinkle the Mercy-Seat with the blood of the Lamb, but with the blood of a Goat; and yet notwithstanding, it is not said, Behold the Goat of God, but, Behold the Lamb of God: Why so? Not on∣ly because that Christ was of a lamb-like, and meek dispo∣sition (as some would have it:) Nor only because, that the great Type of Christ, was the Pascal-Lamb, (though these be reasons.) But there was a dayly sacrifice in the Temple; whether men brought any offering or no, there was a stan∣ding sacrifice in the Temple, morning, and evening, and that sacrifice was a Lamb. Now therefore, to shew, that Jesus Christ is the dayly sacrifice, therefore he cries out, and saies, Behold the Lamb of God, and not the Goat of God; for the Goat was not sacrificed every day as the Lamb was.

For proof of this, take the Apostles Exhortation, Ephe. 5.2. Walk in love, as Christ hath loved us, and hath given him∣self for us, an offering, and a sacrifice to God. Here are Three things considerable. First, He does not say, Who hath redee∣med us: but, to show his great love unto us, Who hath given himself for us: He doth not say, Who hath given him∣self for our sins: Yet he saies so, in Gal. 1.4. Who gave him∣self for our sins; But, Who gave himself for us. Why? To shew, who they were that he gave himself for: He gave himself for us, as sinners. Again, He saies here, He gave Page  9himself for us, an offering, and a sacrifice, not only an offe∣ring, but a sacrifice too. So that this first Proposition is cleer∣ly proved, That our Lord Jesus, when he died upon the Crosse, he did offer up himself as a sacrifice unto God the Father.

Secondly, [unspec 2] As he did offer up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father: So when he was upon this Altar, this sacrifice; the sins of all beleevers were then laid upon Jesus Christ: those that do now beleeve, or shall hereafter beleeve, they were all then laid upon Jesus Christ. Look into the 53. of Isaiah ver. 6. All we like sheep have gone astray, and have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all. That which God laies on shall never be taken off, no man shall take it off: The Lord hath laid on him the i∣niquities of us all.

Yea, Our iniquities are not only said to be laid on him, but (to use the same word that is used for the sacrifice) it is said, he bare our sins upon the Crosse; as the Goat bare the sins of the people: So saies the Apostle, He himself bare our sins upon the Cross.

Moreover, He did not only bare our sins upon the Cross: but (saies the Apostle) he was made sin for us. 'Tis not said, He was made a sinner, or accounted a sinner only for us, but he was made sin for us. All our iniquities were laid on him; he bare our sins; and he was made sin for us upon the Crosse. Thus briefly the Second Proposition is cleared, That when he did thus offer up himself upon the Crosse as a sacrifice, the sins of all beleevers were then laid on him.

Thirdly, When the sins of beleevers were laid on him, [unspec 3] then he did make full satisfaction unto God the Father, and Divine Ju∣stice for all our sins. This is a bottom of much comfort. For if the Lord Jesus Christ our surety had not satisfied to the utmost farthing, our great Creditor, God the Father, for all our debts, God the Father might come upon us the Debters. But our Surety, the Lord Christ, hath given full satisfaction unto God the Father, that no more de∣mands can be made upon us: And indeed else, how could our Surety ever have come out of prison: He was under ar∣rest, Page  10he was in the Jayle, in the grave: The Father, the great Creditor lets him out; and did not only let him out, but the Lord Jesus Christ, he goes inbto Heaven, and sits down there at the right hand of the Father; Surely, if the Creditor had not been satisfied, the Surety should never have bin released out of prison.

He was so fully satisfied, That he looked for iniquity, and he found none, (saies the text.) He look't over all his books, to see if he could find any thing upon the score, but he found none: all our debts were paid. Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world. He does not say, That takes away the sin of the Jewes only; but takes away the sin of the whole world. He does not say, That takes away the sins, (in the plural Number) but takes away the sin) (in the singular Number:) Sins go so together, as if they were but one: but let the sin be never so twisted toge∣ther, as if it were but one sin, this lamb of God, he takes away the sin of the world. And he does not say, That hath pardoned the sin of the World: for then a poor soul might say, I but, though he hath pardon'd my sin, yet my sin is not mortified. Neither does he say, Behold the lamb of God that Mortifies, or Destroyes the sin of the world: But he gives you a word, that takes in, both pardon, and Mortification too. Behold the lamb of God that takes them away: both in regard of Pardon, and in regard of Mortification: Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

There is nothing that does so satisfie God the Father, as Obedience, and the more full the Obedience is, the more God the Father is satisfied thereby: Now it is said of our Lord and saviour Christ, That in this great sacrifice upon the Crosse, he was Obedient. He was Obedient even to the death of the Cross. That he that did make the Law, should come down from Heaven, and be subject to the Law, what Obedience was here! Obedient to the Death. Yea, unto the Deaths (in the plural Number) And he made his grave with the sinners: and his Deaths was with the rich. He made Page  11his grave with the wicked, and with the rich had his Deaths, I∣saiah, 5 ver. 9. It is in the Plural Number in the Hebrew, though in your English translation it is in the Singular. As if the holy Ghost had called death, the Second death that our Lord Christ had in some measure suffered. For, if you consider things truly, and rightly, I beleeve you will find, that our Lord and Saviour Christ when he died, and was in his agony, he did not only indure the first, but the torments of the second death. He overcame no more than he submitted to: he overcame death by submitting to death. Now he overcame the second death also, and there∣fore in some measure submitted to the torments of it, so far as he was capable. Look what the first Adam should have indured for his sin in the fall, that the second Adam now did indure in some measure for to take it off: The day that thou eatest thou shalt die the death. It was not barely the cor∣poral, and outward death, but it was the second death. If our Lord and Saviour Christ did not indure the torments of the second death, the wrath of God upon his soul; why did he sweat drops of blood, and tremble, and shake so, when he came to die? There is many Saints, and Martyrs, when they come to die, they go skipping, and leaping, and rejoycing: and our Lord and Saviour, when he came to die, he sweats drops of blood; surely there was more than an outward death: Oh! the wrath of God, and the tor∣ments of the second death was upon his soul. Thus obedi∣ent he was, and this obedience of his, it was volontary, for he needed not to have died; but he saw that God the father was dishonoured by mans sin, and that poor man would be lost, and rather than that should be, he does volontarily offer himself unto this Obedience. Loe, I come (saies he) in the volum of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, and thy Law is within my heart, Psal. 40.7, 8. Mark what an expression there is in that Psalm, 'tis spoken concering Christ, as is plainly interpreted by the Apostle in the 10. of the Hebrews, at the 6. verse. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine eares hast thou opened (or bored.) The Apostle Page  12when he translates these words, he translates them thus: My body hast thou prepared. But reade them as they are here in the Psalm: Sacrifice and offring thou didst not desire, mine eare hath thou bored. That as when a servant was willing to stay with his Master, and to do him yet more service, the ser∣vants eare was to be bored: So saies the Lord Christ, I am as willing to do this work, to be thus obedient, as a servant whose eare is bored, is willing to stay with his master: And mine eare hast thou bored, (saies he) ah, here's obedience, here's obedience: this now did infinitly satisfie God the Father; In so much, that ye may see what is said, in that same 5. of the Ephesians, and the 2. verse. Who hath loved us, and given himself for us, an offering, and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. The whol world it was ful of a stench before, and the Lord was displeased with man before: but now when Christ comes, and offers up this sacrifice, he did thereby give full satisfction unto God the father, for it was a sweet swelling-savour unto God the Father. So that thus the Father he was fully satisfied.

To this I shall ad one word; When the Lord Jesus Christ offered up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father, and had our sins laid upon him, he did given more perfect satisfaction unto Di∣vine justice for our sins; than if you, and I, and all of us had been damned in Hell unto all eternity. For a Creditor is more satisfied, if his debt be paid him all down at once, than if it be paid by the week: A poor man that cannot pay all down, will pay a groat a week, or sixpence a week; but 'tis more satisfaction to the Creditor to have all paid at once. Should we have been all damned, we should have been but paying the debt a little, and a little, and a little: but when Christ paid it, he paid it all down to God the Father. Had we gone to Hell, and been damned for ever, we had alwaies been satisfying of God, I but God had ne∣ver been satisfied: but now when Christ makes satisfacti∣on, God was satisfied. The Creditor, if he be a merciful and a good man, is more truly satisfied where the Debter is spared; he does not desire that the Debter should be cast Page  13into prison, and there lie and rot; but he is better satisfied with the sparing of the Debter; let me have but my Money, and so the Debter be spared I am willing, nay I desire it saies the good Creditor. Now if all we had bin cast into everlasting burnings, indeed the debt should have been a paying, but there the Debter had been lost: But not when Christ comes, and makes satisfaction unto Divine justice, Ah! poor man is redeemed; here is the Debter spared. And therefore, the Lord he is infinitly more satisfied, by the satisfaction that Christ made upon the Cross for our sins, than if all we had gone to Hell, and been damned to all e∣ternity. Oh! what a glorious, and blessed satisfaction did this our High-Priest make unto God the Father!

But you will say then, [Quest.] If the Lord Christ made this full satisfaction unto God the Father; how is it that Beleevers, many of them have their sins, and debts standing upon the score still, in their Consciences, so perplexed in regard of sin, as if there were no satisfaction at all made?

Luther cals this aspect of sin, A sacralegious aspect, [Answ.] and beholding of sin. As now, (saies he) If a man take out of an holy place some goods, and bring them into his owne house; This is sacraledge. So, for me to go and take my sins From Christ, and lay them in mine own bosome, this is sacraledge, saies Luther.

But the reason of it is this, Because that men do not study this Truth, but was ignorant of it. As, suppose that a man do owe, three or four hundred pound to a shop∣keeper, for wares, and commodities that he hath taken up there: a friend comes, and he payes the debt, crosses the book: but the Debter, when he comes and looks upon the book, he is able to reade all the particulars; Item; for such a thing, and Item for such a thing, and Item, for such a thing; but the man being not aquainted with the nature of crossing the book, he is able to reade all th particulars, and he charges it still upon himselfe, because he does not understand the nature of this crossing the book, and he is as much troubled how he shall pay the debt, as if it were Page  14not paid at all. So now 'tis here, The Lord Jesus Christ, he hath come and cross't our book with his own blood: the sins are to be read in your own consciences, but we being not acquainted with the nature of Christs satisfaction, and the crossing of the book, we charge our selves, as if no sin at all were satisfied for us: Yet when the Lord Jesus Christ was made an offering for sin upon the Cross, then he did give full satisfaction unto God the Father. And that's the Third.

Fourthly, [unspec 4] This now he hath done as our great High-Priest, and in a more transcendant, and eminent way, than ever any high-Priest did before. For, though the High-Priest did come, and make an atonement for a poor sinner, yet he himself was never made a sacrifice; the Priest offered up a sacri∣fice, but himself never was made a sacrifice. But our great High-Priest, does not only offer up a sacrifice, but Himself is made a sacrifice. Yea, that sacrifice, that was then in the times of the old-Testament, it could not purge the con∣science; not only, because (as the Apostle speaks) it was the blood of bulls, and goats: but because the sacrifice was performed successively; as thus, A man sinned, then he brought a sacrifice; sins again, and then he brings another sicrifice: and once every yeare, the High-Priest goes into the holy of holiest to make an atonement: But in the mean while, a poor soul might think thus, What if I die before the year come about, what will become of me? the High-Priest, he goes once a year into the Holy of Holyest, and sprinkles the mercy-seat, but what will become of me if I die before that time? But now, our great High-Priest, he does not only offer up a sacrifice, and Himself the sacrifice; but he offers up a sacrifice once for all. (So saies the Apostle) So that now, when a Christian hath sinned, he is not to think of a sacrifice that is yet to come, a year hence, but he is to look unto that which is done already, a sacrifice once offered, and once for all; So that he needs not be in suspence now, as the Jewes were, his Conscience, it may be fully purged from sin.

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Again, Take the High-Priest in the times of the old-Te∣stament, and though he did make an atonement for the sins of the people;yet sometimes also he did make the people to sin. It is said of Aaron, the great High-Priest, concer∣ning the golden-Calf, that he did make the people naked: But the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, he makes an attonement for sin, and never does make them sin: He is so far from making the people naked, that he covers them with his righteousness that their nakedness may not appear. Here's a glorious High-Priest!

Yea, This High-Priest of ours, He does not only make an atonement for sin committed, and paies the debt; but he does also become our Surety unto God the Father: He does not only pay the debt that is past, but he becomes a Surety for time to come. None of all those High-Priests, that ever did so; not Aaron, not any High-Priest that ever gave his bond unto God the Father, that any sinner should never sin no more. But our Lord Jesus Christ, our High-Priest, he becomes our Surety: and what Surety? not an ordinary surety; for amongst us, the Surety joyns, and does become bound with the Debter, but still it runs in the name of the Debter, and the Debter he gives the bond for to pay the debt. But now here, our Surety, he gives the bond, and we that are the Debters, we do not give the bond for to pay the debt: there is no godly man, or beleever, that ever gave a bond unto God the Father, that he will pay the debt: but our Surety comes, and the bond goes in the name of the Surety, and the Debters name is out. Oh! what a glorious, and blessed High-Priest is here! here is a High-Priest, beyond all the High-Priests that ever did go before! And that's the Fourth thing

Fifthly, How does all this conduce to our Comfort or Ho∣liness.

[unspec 5]

First, How does all this make to our Comfort? [Quest.]

first, [Answ. 1] Is it not a comfortable thing in the eares of a poor sinner, that there is a Magazine, and a Storehouse of Mer∣cy set up? that the Lord hath erected an office of Love, Page  16and of meer compassion for poor sinners? Is it not a com∣fortable thing, that God the father is satisfied, and so your sins pardoned?*Son (saies Christ unto the palsie man) be of good comfort, thy sins are forgiven thee. He does not say, Be of good comfort, thy disease is healed: No, whether thy dis∣ease be healed, or whether it be not healed, this is comfort, Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.

If the Lord Jesus Christ, hath satisfied for my sins (may a beleever say) then whatsoever affliction I do meet withal, it does not come upon me as a punishment (properly) it does not come upon me as an arrest for to pay my debt. When a Reprobate is smitten, and afflicted, all his miseries, they are arrests for to pay his debt. Hath the Lord Jesus Christ satisfied Divine Justice, and God the father for me? then surely these afflictions they do not come for me to make satisfaction.

Again, If the Lord Jesus Christ hath satisfied for my sins (may a beleever say) then I shall never be Damned, I shall never fall from grace. I have had many fears, that I should fall from grace, and so go to Hell, and perish at last: But if the Lord Jesus Christ hath satisfied Divine Justice for my sin, then God the father will never punish my sin a∣gain, for it was punish't in Jesus Christ, therefore I can∣not fall from grace, therefore I can never be Damned.

And if the Lord Jesus Christ hath satisfied Divine Justice as our great High Priest: Then I may come with boldness unto the Throne of grace. A debtor, so long as his debt is unpaid, he dares not come by the prison door, by the Compter door; he is afraid of every Sergeant, he is afraid of his friends, that they should be Sergeants: but when his debt is paid, then he dares go up and down with boldness. And so the poor soul, when he knows that his debt is paid, and Christ hath satisfied, then he may go with boldness un∣to the Throne of grace.

But you will say, [Quest.] I cannot have the comfort of this, be∣cause I cannot say that Christ hath satisfied for me: How shall I know, that Jesus Christ is my High-Priest, so as to Page  17have satisfied for me? Ah, if I did but know, that the Lord jesus Christ were my High-Priest in this particular, so as to have satisfied for me, then should I have comfort indeed: how shall I discover that? I am afraid he hath not satisfi∣ed for me?

And why not for thee? (man or woman) why not for thee? [Ans. 1] I shall tell you what I have heard concerning a young man, that lay upon his death bed, and went to Heaven: While he was lying upon his death bed, he comforted him∣self in this, That the Lord Christ died for sinners: Oh! blessed be the Lord (saies he) Jesus Christ hath died for me. Sa∣tan came in with this temptation to him; I but, young man, why for thee? Christ died for sinners, but why for thee? how canst thou make that appear, that Christ died for thee? Nay Satan (saies he) and why not for me? Ah, the Lord Jesus, he died for sinners, and therefore, Satan, why not for me? So he held his comfort, and went up to Heaven triumphing.

So say I to thee, poor drooping soul, that labours un∣der Temptation; Why not for thee? why not for thee? and say so unto Satan, Why not for me?

Again, Christs satisfaction it lies open for all sorts of sinners to come unto it. As the promise, [Ans. 2] it runs indefinite∣ly; and if a man come to the promise, and apply it; his very applying the promise does make it His. You say, Oh! that I did but know that the promise belongs to me: I say, thy very resting upon the promise, makes it to be∣long to thee. So, the satisfaction of Jesus Christ, this piece of Christs Priestly Office, it lies open for all sorts of sinners for to come unto it: and your very resting upon it, and applying it to your own souls, it makes it to belong unto you.

Furthermore, If Jesus Christ be willing that you should think that he hath satisfied for you, [Ans. 3] then it is no presump∣tion for you to think so. Now saies he at the Lords Sup∣per, Take my blood that is shed for thee, I apply it to thee. Behold thy King cometh unto thee. When he rode upon an Page  18Asses colt, it was not said, Behold thy Lord cometh, but behold thy King cometh to thee: he would have every one so to think.

More especially, [Ans. 4] If that a poor Christian now, might not to unto Jesus Christ as unto his High-Priest, and say, that he is an High-Priest to me: then are we Christians, in a great deal worser condition than the Jews were; for when a Jew had sinned, he might carry his sacrifice to the Priest, and he might say, That this Priest here belongs to me. And there was never a Jew, amongst all the people of the Jewes, but when the High-Priest sprinkled the Mercy-Seat, but he might say, This he hath done for me. Now, we are not in a worse condition, than the Jews were: this High-Priest, is beyond all the High-Priests that ever was before him: and therefore there is never a poor Chri∣stian, but he may go to the Lord Christ and say, Oh! my High-Priest, and this my High-Priest hath satisfied for me. Oh! what comfort is here to poor drooping souls! Lift up your heads, O all ye Saints, and Children of God; me thinks here is that indeed, that might bring you off your own sands. When there is no water in the river but his own, the tyde comes not in, no sea-water, only the water of the river, the native water, (as I may so speak) then your bottoms, your ships they stand upon the sands; but when the tyde comes in, then they are raised, and come off the sands then: And so long as thou hast nothing in thy own channel, but thine own righteousness, thou stickest upon the sands in the deep mire; But now, when the tyde of the Lords satisfaction comes in, there is a full-sea of mercy, and satisfaction (able to swim the heaviest vessel) made by Jesus Christ. Ah, me thinks this should lift up a poor soul and fetch him off from his sands: Be of good Comfort them. Thus it's evident how this truth does much conduce to our Comfort. But you will say, [Quest.] Does it not much conduce to our Grace, or Holiness too? Or if it do, I pray how?

Yes, [Answ. 1] This truth does conduce much to our Holiness too. Page  19You shall observe, that the new Covenant of grace, it is laid, and founded, upo the satisfaction of jesus Christ upopn the Crosse, upon that oblation. Three times, the Apostle Paul makes mention of the new Covenant of grace in the book of the Hebrews, the 8, 9, and 10. Chapters: and in all these places he laies the Covenant of grace, and founds it upon the satisfaction of Jesus Christ. But especi∣ally, in the 9. Chapter, the 13, 14, and 15. verses. The 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eter∣nal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. Then at the 15. And for this cause, he is the Mediator of the new Testament. For this cause: plainly laying the new Covenant of grace, upon the satisfaction of Jesus Christ, upon this part of his Priest∣ly Office. So then, thou maiest now go unto God the Fa∣ther and say, Lord, thou hast made a Covenant of grace with poor man, and this Covenant of grace is founded up∣on the Priestly Office, and satisfaction of Jesus Christ; and the Lord Jesus Christ he hath satisfied for me; and the new Covenant promises; that we shall be all taught of God: Lord, I amignorant, Oh! therefore now, by the satisfacti∣on of Christ let me be taught of thee, that I may be made wise unto salvation. And so again, Lord, thou hast made a Covenant of grace with poor man; this is laid upon the satisfaction of Jesus Christ: The Covenant of grace saies, I will write my Law in your inward parts: Now, O Lord, seeing Jesus Christ hath founded this Covenant in his blood, and I am one of those that he hath made satisfacti∣on for; Oh! write thy Law in my inward parts that I may do all thy wills.

But again, [Answ. 2] (in the Second place) that we may see how this do conduce to our Holiness: Strengthen faith, and we strengthen all: if faith be weakened, all grace is weakened: Strengthen your faith, and you strengthen all your Holi∣ness, and all your Graces. The way to strengthen a bough, or a branch of the tree, is not to carry dung up into the tree, but to lay it to the root: Strengthen the root, Page  20and ye strengthen all the branches. Faith is the Root-grace: now the knowledge, and the thorow degesting of this truth, That the Lord Jesus Christ is our great High-Priest, in this point of satisfaction, it does wonderfull strengthen our faith. For, the more I know that God is willing, and and Christ willing to shew mercy unto me, the more my faith is strengthened: I know this, That every man is wil∣ling to do the work of his office, if he be faithful: A Por∣ter is willing to carry a burden; why? because it is his of∣fice to do it. It is the office of Jesus Christ, for to bear our sins: It is his Office to be the great High-Priest, that does sa∣tisfie God the Father for our sins: Surely therefore, he is willing to do it, for he is faithful in his office. But besides, [Answ. 3] The more I see an holy Necessity upon Christ Je∣sus, for to show mercy to me, the more my faith rises. (It's very remarkable) The Lord Jesus Christ, as God, he may refuse, and might refuse, whether he would show mercy to us or no: But now, as a High-Priest, he cannot refuse a poor sinner that does come unto him. If I know that Christ is able to satisfie, is able to show mercy to me, my faith stirs a little, at the sight of Christs ability; If I know that Christ be willing to show mercy to me, my faith rises higher: but if I know, that Christ cannot refuse me, if I do come unto him, then my faith rises up to a great height indeed. When a poor sinner amongst the Jews, had sinned, and brought his sacrifice to the High-Priest, the Priest might not refuse it: Our Lord Jesus Christ is our great High-Priest; I say, as God he may refuse, but now, he being our great High-Priest, therefore when a poor sinner comes to Jesus Christ, as a High-Priest he cannot refuse: Oh! what a great streng∣thening is this to faith! Strengthen faith, and you streng∣then all: the right understanding of this truth, doth wonderfully strengthen faith.

Further, [Answ. 4] The more a man is ingaged to Jesus Christ, and takes himself to be ingaged to him, the more Holy he is: the more a man sees himself freed from sin by Christ, the more he takes him∣self to be ingaged to Christ, for freeing of him from his sin. Now Page  21this truth tels us how Christ hath satisfied for our sins, freed us from sin; and so we shall be the more ingaged to Christ. If a man were going to prison, even at the Comp∣ter door, for a great sum of money; and the door were un∣locking: if a man should come and speak to the Sergeant, Hold your hands, here is money for you, I will pay this mans debt, and laies the money down; would not this poor debtor take himself for ever ingaged to that man, that should thus come, and lay down the money, and free him so seasonably from the Compter, and prison? Thus it was with the Lord Christ; Ah, we were all going to pri∣son, everlasting prison, chains of darkness, and he comes; and laies down the money, makes full satisfaction to God the Father as our great High-Priest: Oh! what an ingage∣ment is this to every soul unto the Lord Christ, to become the Lord Christs for ever.

Lastly, The more a man does deny his own righteousness, [Answ. 5] the more Holy he is with Gospel-Holiness. It is said of the Jewes, That they going about to establish their own righteousness, submitted not unto the righteousness of Christ. So on the contrary; when a man does go about to establish the righteousness of Christ, then he submits unto it, and then he denies his own righteousness. The more we see a ful∣ness of satisfaction made by Jesus Christ, for all our sins, unto God the Father, the more we acknowledge Christs righteousness, and the more we establish it, and the more we shall be brought off from all our own righteousness.

Oh! Therefore now, as ever you do desire, to have more Grace, more Holiness, more Comfort; study, and study much this Priestly office of Jesus Christ. There are many that complain, that they cannot profit under the means of grace: That they have hard hearts: That the waies, and Ordinances of God are not sweet to them; Pra∣yer they do perform, but with no sweetness, they do not relish the blood and Spirit of Christ upon their spirits in their duties, &c. Many complain that their sins, and temptations (like the sons of Zarviah) are too mighty for Page  22them, and that one day they shall be slain by the hand of Saul, such a lust, such a corruption. No wonder that we have these complaints, when we do not go unto the store∣house of comfort, and grace that the Lord hath set open for us. The Priestly office of Christ, it is the great Maga∣zine, and Storehouse, of all that grace, and comfort which we have on this side heaven: if ye do not go unto it, is it any wonder that ye want comfort, or that ye want grace? I appeal to you now; are there not some nay, many that never went to Jesus Christ as their High-Priest to this day? Ah, are there not some even Professors, that do not know what the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ meanes? Oh! No wonder (poor soule) so uncomfortable, no more stength against thy temptations. If the State should appoint a man for to relieve poor, maimed souldiers, that go a beg∣ging: if they meet with the sawme man that is appointed by the State, and they beg of him in the streets as an ordina∣ry man, he relieves them not: but now, if they come un∣to him, as a man appointed by the State for relief of such, then he relieves them according to the duty of his place. So it is with men, they go to Christ in an ordinary way, they do not go to Christ as the great Lord Treasurer of all our grace, as our great High-Priest, they do not go unto him as in office, set up in office by God the Father for such re∣liefe: they do not addresse themselves to him as their High-Priest to make satisfaction for them, and therefore they go away and have no relief. But would we have more strength against corruption? would we walk more comfortably in our course? would we find the waies of God, Ordinances, and duties more sweet and comfortable to our souls? then reade, and consider that place in the Canticles, 2.3. As the apple-tree among the treesof the wood, so is my beloved among the sons: I sate down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet unto my tast. The spouse speaks it concerning Christ. What is this fruit of Christ? Your Justification, Adoption, Vocation, Sanctification, Consolation, it is al the fruit of Christ: All your own Du∣ties, Page  23your Prayers, Reading, Meditation, they are all the fruit of Christ: The injoyment of al his Ordinances, & al your spiritual priviledges under the Gospel, they are the fruit of Christ. Now saies she, I sate down under his shadow, and his fruit, it was sweet unto my tast. As it is unto a man that does love fruit; be it Pears, Apples, Cherries, or the like: I love this fruit (saies he) but yet notwithstanding, I must needs go where this fruit grows, and gather it off the tree; and when he hath gone to the tree, and taken the fruit off the tree, (saies he) I sate down under the tree. I had not the fruit, the Apple, or Cherry, brought unto my house, but I went unto the tree, and gathered it off the tree; and I sate down under the shadow of the tree, and Oh! how sweet was the fruit unto me! So saies the soul, so saies the Spouse of Jesus Christ: I sate down under the shadow of Jesus Christ, and then his fruit was sweet unto my tast. It may be we have had other shadows: we have sate down under the shadow of our Estate, our outward Estate hath been sweet unto our tast. We have sate down (it may be) under the shadow of friendship, and the fruit of friend∣ship hath been sweet unto our tast; But behold here a tree, the tree of life, whose shadow reaches to the end of the earth; Ah, Come, Come and sit down under the shadow of Jesus Christ. If there be ever a poor soul, that never yet knew what Comfort meant; Ah, Come, Come under the shadow of the Lord Jesus; The Priestly Office of Jesus Christ, it hath a very sweet shadow; Come therefore, you that say you cannot profit under the means, and you that complain of such, and such temptations, and such and such sins; and that you were never yet comforted, your consciences never pacified: Come now, and sit down un∣der the shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ. I tell thee, from the Lord, thus fruit of His, it shall be sweet unto thy tast: thou shalt go to Prayer, and Prayer shall be sweet unto thy soul, though heretofore thou couldst find no sweetness in it; so the Word and other Ordinances shall be sweeter un∣to thee than the hony or the hony combe.

Page  24

Thus it's evident how comfortable the Priestly Office of Jesus Christs, and how much conducing unto our Com∣fort, and Holiness: Oh! therefore let us study, now study the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ, and come and sit down under his shadow, and the Lord make his fruit sweet unto all our souls. And thus I have opened, and applyed the first particular of Christs Priestly Office. The Second fol∣lows, &c.

Page  25

SERMON II.


HEBREWES 2.17, 18.
Wherefore in all things it behoved him,* to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful, and faithful High-Priest, in things pertaining to godliness, to make reconcili∣ation for the sins of the people. For in that He himselfe hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

I Have begun to discover from these words, That the Friestly Office of Jesus Christ, is the great Magazine, and Storehouse, of all that grace, and comfort which we have in this world: that whereby we are succoured, and relieved against all Temptations. This hath been made good in the Generall; and in one Particular work of the High Priest.

If we now inquire further, what the work of the High-Priest was, and is, that accordingly we may address our selves unto Jesus Christ for succour. We shall find, that it is also, to Pray, and Intercede for the people. To make re∣conciliation for the sins of the people, (saies the text) To make A∣tonement for the sins of the people, (saies the old Testament.) Which Reconciliation, or Atonement, was made in the times of the old Testament, not only by offering of a sacrifice, but by taking the blood thereof, and presenting that with Pra∣ers, Page  26and intercessions, unto God, to accept of it for the sins of the people. As we shall find, in that same 16. of Livitieus: After the sacrifice was kild, the Priest was to take the blood of it, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the Mercy-Seat; as we reade in the 14. verse. And at the 12. and 13. He shall take a Censer full of burning coals of fire from off the Alter before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet in∣cense beaten small, and bring it within the vaile; And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the Mercy-Seat. He was to cause a cloud of incense to arise upon the Mercy-Seat. All which was a great Type of the Prayers, and Intercessions of Jesus Christ: who having once offered up himself a sacrifice for our sins, hath carried the blood, and the vertue of it into Heaven, there sprinkled the Mercy-Seat, and there still by his Inter∣cessions does appear for us; As it is proved at large, in the 9. Chapter of this Epistle to the Hebrews, 11. and 12 verses: But Christ being come an High-Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building: Neither by the blood of goats and calves: but by his own blood be entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternall redemption for us. And at the 24. verse: For Christ is not entered into the Holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into Heaven it self, now to appear in the presence of God for us. And if you duely consider this book of the Hebrews, you will find, that this work of Christs Intercession, is The Essential work of his Priestly-Office: it seems rather to go beyond the for∣mer, than to fall short of it. Hebrews, the 8. Chapter and the 4. verse. For if he were on earth, he should not be a Priest. That is, look as it was in the times of the old Testament: if the Priest had only offered a sacrifice, and had not gone into the holy of holiest with the blood thereof, sprinkling the Mercy-Seat, praying, and interceding that it might be accepted for the sins of the people, the Priest had not done the work of the Priest, and so he had not been a compleat Priest: So now, (saies the Apostle) if Jesus Christ had only Page  27offred up himself here a sacrifice, and had not gone into Heaven, the holy of holiest, and carried the power and the vertue of his death thither, to pray and intercede for us, he had not done the work of the great High-Priest. Every Priest might sacrifice, but every Priest might not go into the Holy of Holiest, that belonged only to the High-Priest to do. Now therefore, Jesus Christ going into Heaven, the Holy of Holiest, there to make Intercession for us, is the great, and the special work of this High-Priest.

That I may cleer up this mysterious Truth, I shall deliver my self these Four waies; by opening.

  • First, Wherein the Intercession of Christ consisteth: and what he doth when we say he intercedes in Heaven for us.
  • Secondly, How powerfull, and prevailing his Intercessions are with God the Father.
  • Thirdly, That he doth now intercede as our great High-Priest and in a more transcendent and eminent way and manner, than e∣ver any High-Priest did before.
  • Fourthly, This does conduce to our Comfort, and to our Holi∣ness.

First, If it be demanded, [Quest.] Wherein consisteth this Intercessi∣on of Jesus Christ?

I Answer. [Answ. 1]

First it consists in this: His appearing for us in Heaven, his owning of our Cause, and of our souls to God the Fa∣ther: It is the word that is used in that 9. Chapter of the Hebrews, the 24. verse. Christ is not entred into the holy place made with hands, but into Heaven, now to appear in the presence of God for us. He does not in an ordinary way, and man∣ner appear for us in Heaven; but with an Emphasis, he does openly, and publickly, before all the Saints and Angels, appear for us in the presence of God the Father. It is a comfort unto a man, sometimes, to have a good friend at Court, at the Kings elbow, that may own him, and ap∣pear for him: but though a man have a friend at Court, sometimes if there be any danger, he will not appear, and own a man; it may be he will own him, and countenance Page  28his Cause as long as there is no danger, but no longer. But now, here, we have a friend in Heaven, that will ap∣pear for us, and own our Causes, and our souls, and in all conditions appear for us. That is the First.

Secondly, [Answ. 2] He doth not only appear for us; but by ver∣tue of his Priestly Office, he does carry the power, merit, and vertue of his blood into the presence of God the Father in Heaven, and sprinkles the Mercy-Seat with it seven times. Seven is a note of Perfection. Those that Christ suffe∣red for, he does Intercede for. He takes all their bonds, and he carries them in unto God the Father, and he saies, Fa∣ther, I have paid these bonds, I have paid this debt, I have satisfied thy Justice for these poor sinners; and now my de∣sire is, that they may be acquitted from these bonds, and from these debts. This also is remarkable in that 9. Chap∣ter of the Hebrews, 11, 12. verses.

Thirdly, [Answ. 3] He doth not only carry the power, and vertue of his blood, and present it to God the Father for our dis∣charge: but he does also plead our Cause in Heaven, an∣swering unto all those accusations that are brought against us. And therefore we may reade what the Apostle saies in the 8. of the Rom. 33. ver. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? it is God that justifies, who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea, rather that he is risen again, who is e∣ven at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Upon this ground the Apostle speaks thus; Who shall con∣demn them? Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God the Father, to take off all accusations, that shall be brought a∣gainst them. Let the World condemn, let Moses condemn, let Satan condemn; Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God the Father, to take off all accusations that shall be raised against them. Concerning this there is a clear and full instance in that notable Scripture the 3. Chapter of Za∣chariah, and the 1. verse, We find Satan standing at the right hand of Joshua to resist him. He shewed me Joshua the High-Priest, standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right band to resist him. It was the custome of Page  29the Accuser, to stand at the right hand of the accused: Psalme, 109. ver. 6. Set thou a wicked man over him, and let Satan stand at his right hand: take the wall of him in his ac∣cusation, condemning of him. Now here Satan-standing at Joshua's right hand, notes his accusing of him. Well, what was the matter that he accused him of? Ye shall find that there was matter, verse the 3. Now Joshua was cloathed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. Satan came and accused him that he had filthy garments; and so he had: for the Priests, had defiled themselves in Babylon, in marrying of strange wives, as Joshua and his children are charged, in the 10. Chapter of Ezra, and the 18. verse. (Give me leave a little to open this charge of Satan, that we may see Satan had matter of Charge, and accusation a∣gainst Joshua) And among the sons of the Priests, there were found that had taken strange wives: namely of the sons of Joshua. He was High-Priest. So that now, Joshua had defiled his garments: thre was then matter of accusation for Satan to work upon. But now, our Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest steps in, and takes off this accusation: The Lord said (at the 3. of Zachariah, 2. verse) unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusa∣lem rebuke thee. The word used by the Septuagint, is the same that is used for Excommunication. And it is here twice repeated, (The Lord rebuke thee, even the Lord rebuke thee) not only to show the fulnesse of Satans rebuke; but to show the fulnesse of the intercession of Jesus Christ. Now would we see the fulnesse of Christs apology for Joshua? Saies the Lord unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, even the Lord re∣buke thee: And (saies he at the latter end of the 2. verse) Is not this a brand pluck't out of the fire? Thus; it is true Lord, that Joshua hath filthy garments: but yet notwithstan∣ding, Joshua is but as a brand pluck't newly out of the burning. Take a brand, and pull it newly out of the fire, and there will be dust, ashes, and dirt about it. Lord (saies he) Joshua is but newly puld out of the burning, and therefore, Lord, he must needs have some ashes, and some Page  30dirt, and some filth about him: O Lord, (saies Christ) al∣though that Joshua be clothed with filthy garments, I will take away those filthy garments: verse the 4. He answered and spake unto those that stood before him saying, Take away the filthy garments from him: and unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to passe from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. This can be none but Christ. Thus Christ takes off the accusation that was brought against Joshua by Satan, for his filthy garments. And so does the Lord Christ now: If a poor soul fall into any sin, defile his garments: Satan, he comes in, and takes the right hand of him, stands at the right hand and accuses, by reason of this filthy garment: but our Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, he being at the right hand of the Father, takes up the cause, and answers to the accusation: True Lord, this poor soul, indeed hath filthy garments; but he is but as a fire-brand pluck't newly out of the burning: He was in his natural, and sinful condition the other day, in his burning, and he is but newly changed, and therefore he must needs have some dirt, and some filth upon him, as a fire-brand pluck't out of the burning; and therefore consi∣der him in that respect, and though he have filthy gar∣ments now upon him; yet I will give him change of rai∣ments, and take away his filthy garments. Thus the Lord Christ steps in to God the Father, and answers to all those accusations that are brought against him to God the Father. This is the Third thing that he does by way of his Intercession.

Again, [Answ. 4] He doth not only plead our Cause, and take off accusations that are brought against us: But he does also, call for Absolution, and for Pardon of poor sinners, at the hand of God the Father, in a way of justice and e∣quity: And therefore he is called,*our Advocate: If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. The work of an Advocate, differs from the work of a Petitioner: an Advocate does not Petition the Judge, but an Advocate, he tels the Judge what is Law, Page  31what is right, & what ought to be done. So the Lord Jesus Christ being in Heaven, and making Intercession, is there as our Advocate: Lord (saies he) this man he hath sinned indeed, but I have satisfyed for his sins, I have paid for them to the full, I have satisfied thy wrath to the ful: now therefore, in a way of Equity, and in a way of Justice, I do here call for this mans pardon: Thus Christ intercedes. And thus we see (briefly) wherein the Intercession of Christ consisteth, and what he does when we say, That he Inter∣cedes for us in Heaven.

Well, But suppose he does Intercede, [Quest.] Can he prevaile in his Intercession, hath he any potency, power, or preva∣lency with God the Father in his Intercession?

Yes very much: [Answ.] and therefore we find in that same 3. of Zach. That Joshua goes away with a faire Myter upon his head: ver. 5. And I said, let them set a faire Myter (or a Crown) upon his head: so they set a faire Myter (or a Crown) upon his head, and clothed him with garments, and the Angel of the Lord stood by. Satan (at the beginning) stood at his right hand to accuse him: but this Accuser of the brethren goes away with a double rebuke, and Joshua goes away with a Crown, through the Intercession of Jesus Christ he goes away with a Crown upon his head.

All which will appear to you, if we consider Three things.

First, [unspec 1] What great interest our Lord and Saviour Christ hath in the bosome of God the Father. Paul prevailed with Philemon for Onesimus, through the great interest that Paul had in the bosome of Philemon. Our Lord and Savi∣our Christ, he hath lien in the bosome of God the Father from all eternity: he is his Son, his natural Son, his belo∣ved Son, his Son that did never offend him: and therefore surely when he comes, and intercedes for a man, he is most like to speed, to prevaile. We know, that David go∣ing out against Nabal and his house; Abigail comes forth, meets with David, and intercedes for Nabal: and Abigail did so powerfully intercede, even for Nabal, that she turned Page  32Davids heart quite round about. David swore he would not leave one of the house, and after Abigail had interce∣ded a little for Nabal, in the 1 of Sam. 25.32. verse, David said unto Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou which hast kept we this day from coming to shod blood. Pray, what did Abigail say, that shee turned David thus about, that her intercession was thus powerful? Saies Abi∣gail, as for Nabal, he is according to his name. And it shall come to pass (at the 30. verse) when the Lord shall have done to my Lord, according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel, that this shall be no griefe unto thee, nor offence of heart to my Lord, either that thou hast shed blood causelesse, or that my Lord hath avenged himselfe. This shal be no griefe at all unto thine heart (saies she) and other words that she used; by which she prevailed here with David. But Abigail was a stranger to David: and Abigail she prayes, and intercedes for Nabal, a wicked, vile, foo∣lish man. Shall Abigail, a woman, a stranger prevail thus with David for a Nabal? and shall not the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, not a stranger, nor a stranger to his bosome, but beloved from everlasting, shall not be prevaile much more, when he comes, and pleads the cause of the Elect, and of the Children of God, in the presence of God the Father, whom the Father loves also? Great is the Rhetorick of a Child: if a Child do but cry, Father, especially if the child be a wise child, he may prevail much with a tender hearted father. The Lord Jesus Christ, he is the Son of the Father, and he is the Wisdom of the Fa∣ther too; and God the Father is a tender hearted father: Oh! surely therefore, Powerful are the Intercessions of Je∣sus Christ with God the Father.

Secondly, [unspec 2] The prevalency of Christs Intercessions with the Father, will appear: if we consider, The inclination, and disposition, that God the Father hath, unto the same things that Christ prayeth, and intercedeth for. If a child should come, and intreat his father, in a matter that Page  33the father hath no mind to, or that the father is set a∣gainst; possibly he might not prevail: But if a beloved child shall come and pray the father, in a business that the father likes as well as the child; surely then, the child is very like to speed. Thus it is: The Lord Jesus Christ comes, and he intercedes for us: and the Father hath as great an inclination, and disposition unto the work that Christ intercedes for, as Christ himself hath: And there∣fore saies Christ, Loe, I come to do thy will: I come not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. That which Christ did, that he had a mind to, it was rather, the will of the Father, than Christs will: the Father is as strongly in∣clined, and disposed to what Christ did, and wils, as Christ himself. Those that thou hast given me (saies he) I have lost none: they are thine own, Lord, and therefore I pray for them. We have a notable expression to this end, in the 10. Chapter of John, and the 17. verse. Therefore doth my father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it a∣gain. I lay down my life: Here's his suffering, and his sa∣tisfaction. That I may take it again: Go up to Heaven, and take it again and intercede. Therefore doth my father love me. Oh! what a round of love is here: God the fa∣ther out of love, sends Christ into the world to die for man: God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. Wel, Jesus Christ out of love to us, he dies for us: Who hath lo∣ved us, and given himself for us. The Father loves the world in giving Christ, The Son loves the world in dying for us; and the Father, he loves Christ again, for loving us: Christ loves us, and the Father loves Christ again for loving of us: a mighty high expression, That the Father should love Christ, for loving us. So then look wherein the love of Christ is seen unto poor sinners, the Fathers in∣clination, and disposition is untot hat as much as Christs: So that when he comes unto God the Father, and does in∣tercede, he must needs prevail, because the Father loves him for his interceding, the Father likes the matter as well as he, loves you the better for it.

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Thirdly, [unspec 3] This will appear also, if we consider, upon what termes our Lord and Saviour Christ, our great High-Priest, was taken, and admitted into Heaven, the Holy of Holiest: so it is called. He was Honourably received into Heaven, and he ws received thither, for to do the work of the High-Priest. He was Honourably received when he came to Heaven: Sit thou down at my right hand (saies God the Father to him) a note of Honour. When Solomon would expresse his Honour to his mother, he set her down at his right hand. Thus God the Father would expresse the Honourable welcome that Christ had when he came to Heaven: Sit thou down on my right hand (saies he.) Now ye shall observe, that when soever this is made menti∣on of, The sitting down at the right hand of God the Fa∣ther; it is made mention of, not with the Kingly Office of Christ, but with the Priestly Office of Christ: as if that he were set down there, to do the work of the Priestly Office: One would think (I say) that this should be exprest with the Kingly Office of Christ: but you shall find it running along in the Scripture, still with the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ. Look into the 8. Chapter of the Hebrews, the 1. verse. Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such an High-Priest, who is set on the right hand of the Throne, of the Majesty in the Heavens. It's named with the Priestly Office. And so again, in the 10. Chap∣ter of the Hebrews, at the 11. and 12. verses. Every High-Priest standeth dayly ministring, and offering often times the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin: But this man, (speaking of Christ) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sate down on the right hand of God: It is carried a long with the mention of the Priestly Office of Christ: as if he were sate down on the right hand of God the Father in Heaven, on purpose to do the work of the Priestly Office. When Jesus Christ came into Heaven, into the Holy of Ho∣liest, he came thither as our great High-Priest; and he said unto God the Father; Lord, I am not now come in mine own name, for my own sake only, but I come as the Page  35great High-Priest, having on this Brest-plate, the name of all the Elect; and I come to intercede for poor sinners; I come as High-Priest: Saies God the Father to him, Wel∣come upon those termes, welcome upon those termes, not wich standing thou doest come in their names, come and sit down at my right hand, saies God the Father to him: Thus Father is ingaged, for he received him upon those termes into Heaven, as our great High-Priest; the Father therefore is engaged to hear his Intercession, and so the in∣tercession of Jesus-Christ, must have a great deal of power, and prevalency with God the Father in Heaven. This is the Second thing.

But, Thirdly, Does the Lord Jesus Christ intercede for us in Heaven, as our great High-Priest?

Yes, and he does do this, in a more transcendent, and eminent way and manner, than ever any High-Priest did before Him.

For First, [unspec 1] He hath gone through more Temptations than ever any High-Priest did. He was tempted (saies the text) that he might succour those that are temped, as an High-Priest: If he was Tempted, that he might succour those that are Tempted; succour them as an High-Priest, then the more he was Tempted, the more experimentally able he is for to succour those that are Tempted. Never any High-Priest, that was Tempted like unto Christ. He was (saies the Apostle) in all things tempted, like unto us, sin only excepted. Poor soul, name any temptation, that thy heart is scared at the thoughts of, and you will find, that the Lord Jesus Christ, he was tempted with that temptati∣on. You will say, I am often times tempted to doubt Whether I be the Child of God or no, and that very often. So was Christ too: you know the place in the 4. of Mat∣thew: If thou be the Son of God; and if thou be the Son of God, twice that the Devil would set an If upon Christs Son-ship. Oh! but I am tempted often times to use indirect means to get out of trouble. So was Christ too: Command that these stones be made bread, saies the Devil to him. Oh! but Page  36sometimes I have been tempted, even to lay violent hands upon my self. So did the Devil tempt Christ too; Cast thy self down off the pinacle of the Temple; that was a temptation. Oh! but I am tempted unto such evil things, that truely I am afraid to speak of, such Blasphemies, such horrid, and wretched Blasphemies, as I think never came upon the heart of any child of God, so that I am afraid to think of them, and ashamed to mention them. And was not Christ so? was not he tempted so? Saies the Devil to him, All this will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Oh! horrid Blasphemy! Blush, blush, O Sun: that the Lord Jesus, the God of glory, should fall down to the Devil, and worship the Devil; what wretched blasphemy was here, that he should speak this? and yet the Lord Jesus Christ, he was tempted to it. What shall I say, He was in all things tempted like unto us, sin only excepted. Now, there was never any High-Priest that was so tempted, and he was therefore tempted, that he might succour those that are tempted. He is more able as our High-Priest to inter∣cede, to put in for you, and to succour you, than ever any High-Priest was before him.

Again, [unspec 2] As he hath gone through more Temptations than ever any High-Priest did: So also, he is filled with more Compassions. It behoved the High-Priest to be Mer∣ciful: it is an office of love, and Mercy. Now our Lord and Saviour Christ (saies the Apostle) is such an High-Priest, as cannot but be touched with your infirmities: the High-Priest that did go before him, sometimes, was not touched with their infirmities: Hannah came and prayed, and Eli's heart was not touched with her infirmity, at the first. But our High-Priest cannot but be touched, he does sympathize with us under all our infirmities. He is affli∣cted in all our afflictions. It was the work of the High-Priest to sympathize with the people; and yet notwith∣standing, there was a law, that the High-Priest might not mourn for his kindred, in that he might not, as others, sympathize, or mourn. But now, our Lord Jesus, he does Page  37fully sympathize with us, and therefore goes beyond all the High-Priests that ever was before him.

Further, He is more faithful in his office, [unspec 3] and place than ever any High-Priest was. Aaron was an High-Priest, butunfaithful in the matter of the golden calfe. But our Lord and Saviour Christ, he is more faithful than Moses was, In this 3. Heb. 1.2. verses, (and so on.) Wherefore ho∣ly brethren, consider the Apostle and High-Priest of our profession Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him, as al∣so Moses was faithful in all his house. He steps over Aaron, who was the the High-Priest, and he compares him here to Moses in faithfulness. Now Moses was faithful in all his house: But our Lord and Saviour here, he is preferred before Moses in point of faithfulness; yet it is said, Moses was faithful in all his house. When that the Lord comman∣ded Moses any thing, as the Lord commanded so did he, and rose up early in the morning to do the commandement of God: He was faithful in all his house; and yet our Lord and Saviour was more faithful than Moses in the mat∣ter of his Priesthood. For so it is brought in here, at the 3. verse. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as be who hath builded the house, hath more honour than the house. Verse the 5. Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a Son over his own house. Look now, as a Child, or a son is more faithful in his fa∣thers house than a servant will be: so, (saies the Apostle) Christ is more faithful than Moses. And look as the buil∣der of the house, does go beyond, and excel every beam, and stone in the house, or every part of the building: So does the Lord Christ in faithfulness, exceed Moses. You will say, there is a great difference between a stone in the building, and the maker of the house: Look what diffe∣rence there is between a stone, or a piece of wood, & the ma∣ker of the building! so great a difference there is (saies the Apostle) between Jesus Christ, in the matter of his Priesthood, and Moses; yet notwithstanding, Moses is faithful in all his Page  38house. Oh! then, how faithful is Jesus Christ, in the matter of his Priesthood! He goes before all that ever went before him.

Again, [unspec 4] Take other High-Priests, and though they were never so good, they could not alwaies intercede, they died; the High-Priest died, and another came in his room: But this man liveth for ever to make Intercession.

Yea, [unspec 5] Take the High-priest in the times of the old-Testa∣ment; and while he lived, he did not alwaies intercede for the people: Once in a year, the High-priest came to enter into the Holy of Holiest to sprinkle the Mercy-seat with blood, and caused a cloud to arise upon the Mercy-seat, with his prayers, and intercessions for their acceptance: and then he went out of the Holy of Holiest, and laid aside his garments. But now, our great High-priest, is ascended into the Holy of Holiest never to put off his Priestly gar∣ments: and he does not once a year sprinkle the Mercy-seat with his sacrifice, but every day: and therefore he goes beyond all the High-priests that ever went before him.

And yet further: [unspec 6] Take the High-priest in the old Law, in the times of the old Testament: and though they did offer sacrifice for some sinnes, and intercede; yet there was other sins again, that no sacrifice was to be offered for. If a man did kill another at un-awares, there was a sacrifice. If a man sinned ignorantly, there was a sacrifice. But saies the Text in the 15. of Numbers, 30. vers. If any man sin pre∣sumptuously, he shall be cut off, and there shall be no sacrifice for him: No sacrifice, no intercession by the High-priest then. But we have such an High-priest, that makes intercessions for All sins. So he saies himself: Every sin and blasphemy, shall be forgiven, except the blasphemy against the Holy-Ghost. Every sin, though it boyle up to blasphemy, it shall be for∣given; but without sacrifice there is no remission: and therefore he hath made a sacrifice, and so he presents the sacrifice, and intercedes for every poor sinner: and there∣fore, he is such an High-priest, that transcends all the high-priests that euer was before him.

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In the Fourth place, [unspec 4] How doth all this conduce now to our Comfort, or our Holiness, to ur Grace, or Peace?

First, To our Comfort. Very much to our Comfort. And therefore in the 1. Chap. of Zach. good words, & comfort∣able are spoken upon this occasion: (ver. 8.) saies the Pro∣phet, I saw by night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrile-trees that were in the bottome, and behind him were there red horses speckled & white. Then said I, O my Lord, what are these? And the Angel that talked with me, said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle-trees, answered and said, These are they, whom the Lord hath sent to walke to and fro through the earth. And they answered the Angel of the Lord that stood among the myr∣tle-trees, and said, Wee have walked to and fro through the earth, and behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest. And the Angel of the Lord answered, and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the Cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? Here is Intercession. And the Lord answered the Angel that talked with me, with good words, and comfortable words. Give me leave to open the words a little, and we shall see how much it makes to our comfort, this Interces∣sion of Jesus Christ. At the 8. verse, I saw (saies he) a man riding upon a red horse. This is the Lord Jesus Christ presen∣ted thus unto us. And he stood among the myrtle-trees. The Saints and people of God, they are called myrtle-trees, for their greenness, sweetness, and fruitfulness. And these myr∣tle-trees were in the bottome. That is, in a dark, in a low, and a poor condition: it is the condition of myrtle-trees, and of the Saints and people of God to be oft in bottoms, and in a dark and low condition. Well: Behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white: And I said, O my Lord, what are these? Now that this is Christ; First of all, he is called a Man, and an Angel too. Secondly, As Christ walked between the golden Candlesticks, in the book of the Reve∣lation: So here he stood among the mirtle-trees, among the Saints. And behind him (attending upon him) were red Page  40horses, speckled and white. That is, Angels sent to and fro through the earth, upon his message, and upon his er∣rand; and unto him they come and give an account, and to none but Christ. Then we shall see this Angel, that stood among the myrtle-trees, comes and Intercedes: all the An∣gels they come and bring in this report, That the Church and people of God were in a low condition. Then this An∣gel that stood among the Myrtle-trees, answered and said, (at the 12. verse) O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the Cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten yeers? It must needs be Christ, for no Angel intercedes, but Christ alone. What is the fruit of this Intercession? (at the 13. verse) The Lord answered the Angel that talked with me, with good words, and comfortable words. I (indeed) good words, and comfort∣able are the fruit of the Intercession of Jesus Christ. It is a matter of great comfort this, That the Lord Christ, our great High-Priest, is in Heaven to intercede for us. Is it not a comfort to a poor man, to have a friend above, neer the King, or in the Court, that may be able to do him kind∣ness? A man sometimes saies, I had a friend indeed in the Court, but now he is dead. I but, here is a friend that never dies: He ever lives to make Intercession. Friends may alter, and turn enemies; but he changeth not. Our Lord and Saviour Christ said unto his Disciples, Rejoyce not in this, that the Devils fall down like lightning before you: but rejoyce in this, That your names are written in Hea∣ven: it is a matter of great joy to have ones name written in Heaven: Oh! but what is it then, to have ones name written in the chiefe part of Heaven, to have ones name written there, upon the breast-plate of Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, that is gone into the Holy of Holiest. Thus it is, The Lord Christ is now gone to Heaven, en∣tred into the Holy of Holiest, and carries our names into the presence of God the Father, and there pleades, and in∣tercedes for us. Oh! what matter of comfot is here!

But you will say unto me: [Object.] This is indeed exceeding Page  41good, and very comfortable in it self: but what is this to me? for I am afraid that the Lord Christ, does not intercede for me: if indeed I could perswade my self, that the Lord Jesus were in Heaven as my High-Priest, to intercede for me, I think verily I should have comfort, though I were in the lowest bottom, though I were in Hell it self: but Oh! I am afraid to bear my self upon the Intercession of Jesus Christ, lest I should presume.

This is the great Objection, and stands up continually, [Ans.] to resist the comforts of Gods people: Give me leave there∣fore, to deal with this Objection all along, and to take it off, that so the comfort may fall the more fully upon you.

First, I will shew, It is no presumption for us, to bear our selves upon the Intercession of Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Who those are, that the Lord Christ does Intercede for in Heaven.

And Thirdly, How willing, how infinitely willing he is to Intercede for us: that so I may bring the comfort neerer to our own bosomes.

First, [unspec 1] I say it is no Presumption for us to bear our selves upon the Intercession of Jesus Christ: no Presumption to beleeve. We know the story of the woman in the Gospel, that came unto our Lord and Saviour, touching the hem of his garment for her cure, and she was cured thereby. But our Saviour perceiving vertue to be gone from him, he cals out the person, Who hath touched me? come forth; and the woman came forth trembling. Our Lord and Savi∣our Christ, does not say to this poor woman, How dare you thus touch me? how durst you thus presume to do it? Consider, The woman had no Command to do it, no Precept to back her: The woman had no promise to en∣gage her; that if shee did touch the hem of his garment, she should be cured. The woman had no Example; ne∣ver any before that touched the hem of his garment and was cured: No Commandement, No Promise, No Exam∣ple: Surely now, if any woman, or man, should Presume, it should be this woman, that had no Commandement, Page  42nor no Promise, nor no Example; and yet the Lord Jesus Christ does not chide her away, does not tell her, she had presumed; but, O woman thy faith hath saved thee, thy faith hath made the whole. Let me speake this home, we have a Command now to beleeve in Christ; and a Promise: Those that come unto him, he ever liveth to make Inter∣cession for them: And we have Examples of many that have come unto Jesus Christ, born themselves upon his Intercession, and have gone away cured: what! was it no Presumption for the woman to come and touch Christ, without a Commandement, and a Promise, and an Exam∣ple? and have you Examples, and have you Promises, and have you Commandements to beleeve, and will you say this is Presumption? Be not deceived, it is no Presumpti∣on for thee, poor soul, to bear thy self at length upon Jesus Christ.

Secondly, [unspec 2] To make this out a little more fully: I shall discover who those are that the Intercession of Jesus Christ does belong unto.*If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. You will say, This is to be carried upon those that were spoke of before: and those were such as had fellowship with the Father: Truely, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Sonne Jesus Christ; Chap. 1. verse 3. Now if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. If a∣ny man that hath fellowship with the Father, or Christ, sin; they have an Advocate with God the Father. First therefore stand you by I pray, that we will take for gran∣ted, all you that ever had any fellowship with God the Fa∣ther, or with Jesus Christ; this Doctrine of the Intercessi∣on of Jesus Christ, and the comfort hereof does belong to you.

Moreover, In the 17. Chapter of John, there we find, that our Saviour saies, He prayes for those that do beleeve, and should beleeve. Those that he prayes for here, he in∣tercedes for in Heaven: Neither pray I for these alone (at the 20. verse) but for them also which shall beleeve on me through thy Page  43word. I do not pray only for those that do beleeve now, but for them also which shall beleeve. Well then, here is a second sort, Those that do beleeve, and those that wait upon the Lord in the Ordinance, that they may beleeve, or shall beleeve; Stand you by also, you are another sort of people, that the Intercession of Jesus Christ, and the com∣fort thereof does belong unto.

But now yet further, If we look into the 7. Chapter of this Epistle unto the Hebrews, at the 25. verse, we shall find these words: Wherefore, he is able also, to save them to the utter∣most, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make In∣tercession for them. Who are those? Those that come unto God by him. Lay this, and 53. Chapter of I saiah the 12. verse together. He was numbred with the transgressors (spea∣king of Christ cleerly) and he bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. It may be thou canst not say, I have fellowship with God the Father: it may be thou canst not say, I do beleeve, I am perswaded that I do be∣leeve; thou canst not say so: Well, but can you say thus: Through the Lords grace, I do come unto God by Christ; I have been, and I am a great transgressor, but I come unto God by Christ; I am one of the coming-transgressors: I have been a transgressor, but I am a coming-transgressor, I come unto God by Christ. Stand you by also, this In∣tercession of the Lord Jesus Christ, it belongs unto you: And let me tell thee for thy comfort (poor soul) whatsoe∣ver thou hast been, that comest unto the Lord by Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, he is gone to Heaven to intercede for thy soul.

But you will say, [Obj.] There is one thing that makes me afraid he will not intercede for me, I have been so great a transgressor: for I have been a transgressor against Jesus Christ, this High-Priest: Oh! I have sinned against this great High-Priest, Jesus Christ, and therefore I am afraid he will not intercede for me.

For answer to this, I shall only desire you to turn to the 16. Chapter of Numbers, the 41. verse, and consider it duely; [Answ.] we reade there, that all the Congregation murmured a∣gainst Page  44Moses, and Aaron: Aaron was the High-Priest: And (saies the text) all the Congregation of the children of Israel mur∣mured against Moses, and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord. They had murmured against Moses, and Aaron. Then (at the 46. verse) Moses said unto Aaron, Take a Censer, put fire therein from off the Altar, put on incense, go quickly unto the Congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord, the plague is begun. And see what Aaron did: And Aaron took as Moses comman∣ded, and ran into the midst of the Congregation, and behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed. They had sinned against Aaron the High-Priest, and yet Aaron (but the Ty∣pical High-Priest, he was but a Type of Christ) he ran in, although they had sinned against him, and he stood betwen the dead and the living, and made an atonement for them. Oh! if there was so much bowels, and compassions in the Type, in Aaron, when they had sinned against him, as to go and intercede for them: How much more is there in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Typified High-Priest, to poor souls, to intercede for them.

But now, [unspec 3] this may be more fully made out to us, if we do but take in the Third thing, and that is: The Lord Je∣sus Christ, he is infinitely willing to intercede for us. We have seen who those are unto whom the Intercession of Christ belongs: namely, Such as have had any fellowship with God the Father, or with Christ: Such as do beleeve, or shall hereafter beleeve: And all those poor transgressors that come unto God the Father by Christ. Now observe, how infinitely willing the Lord Jesus Christ is to intercede for us that are thus: That will appear thus:

First, [unspec 1] He must needs be willing to do that which he hath recei∣ved his anointing for. It is said of Aaron, that he was anoin∣ted; and that ointment ran down upon his beard, and un∣to the skirts of all his garment: not a piece of Aarons gar∣ment, but was perfumed with the ointment that Aaron was Page  45anointed with. Surely, there is not a skirt of the garment of Jesus Christ, but the anointment wherewithal He, our High-Priest was anointed, does run down upon him. He is the Messiah, the anointment: So he is called in the 10. of Isaiah. The anointment. He was anointed with the oyle of gladness above all his fellows: above all the High-Priests that ever were before him. And he was anointed for this very end, That he might do the work of the High-Priest; which is, to Intercede for the sins of the people. And therefore in that place in John, 1 John 2.1. If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. Christ signifies A∣nointed. If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father: But who is that? He is Jesus, that signifies your Saviour, and so he is willing to intercede. I but, it may be he is not able to do it, it may be he hath not received the anointing to do it. Yes, He is called Christ. If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ: or if you will, Saviour, Anointing. So that he is anointed for this end and purpose, to be your Advocate. Now if a man do receive money for to lay out for the benefit of o∣thers, poor Orphans, or the like: if a man be faithful, certainly, he will lay out the money for them, according to the intention of him that did trust him with the money. The Lord Jesus Christ, he hath received the Anointing, he is anointed as our great High-Priest, to do the work of the Priestly Office: and this is one work, to Intercede, and there∣fore he must needs be very willing to do it.

Again, The more any thing is the work of a mans Relation, [unspec 2] wherewithal he is clothed, the more (if he be faithful) is he willing to do the work. And I pray mind it a little. When men are exalted, and come to Greatnesse, or Honor, then they give down the comforts of their Relation unto those that depend upon them: If a father come to any great pre∣ferment; the comfort of the Relation of a father, then fals down upon the children, runs down then upon the fruit of his loynes. And so, if one friend do come unto prefer∣ment; the comfort of the Relation, (or friendship) fals Page  46down. Now the Lord Jesus Christ, he is our High-Priest; and he is now exalted, he is gone to Heaven: and therefore all the comforts of all the Relations that he stands in to∣wards us, do now fall upon us. And therefore, he is wil∣ling, he is very willing, because this is the work of his Re∣lation.

And further, [unspec 3] It is the work of his Office. What a man does by office, that he does willingly; what a man does by office, he does industriously, he does not do it by the bye: what a man does by office, he does it readily; according unto a mans place, or office, so will his interpretation be. Suppose now a Child that hath very good parts, come be∣fore three men, of three several professions; A Lawyer, a Minister, and a Merchant. The Child having very good parts; the Merchant saies, He will make a very good Mer∣chant: the Lawyer saies, He will make a very good Law∣yer: and the Minister saies, He wil make a very good Scho∣lar: according to their three Relations, or Places, or Of∣fice, or work, their interpretation is. So now, if three men, of three several Trades, whose work lies about wood, come and behold a fine green-tree: One man saies, It is good for this: And another saies, It is good for that: and the third saies, It is good for another use: according to his Place, and Calling, will his interpretation be. So now, when a poor soul comes before God: Moses (the Law) looks upon him: And the Devil looks upon him: And Jesus Christ looks upon him: The work of the Law, is to Condemn; The work of the Devil, to Accuse; And the work of Jesus Christ, is to Intercede, it is the work of his office. Now therefore, assoon as the Devil sees such a soul, Oh (saies he) here's a fine instrument for me, here's a fit subject for me to injoy. Assoon as Moses sees this man, Here's a fine subject for me to condemne unto all Eternity. But when Jesus Christ looks upon such a soul, saies he, Heres a fine soul for me to save unto all Eternity, to intercede for: why? because it is his Office, and what a man does by office, he interprets accordingly. Therefore what the Page  47Lord Jesus Christ does, he does by office, and he does it readily, and willingly. And I will give you one demon∣stration of it; It was the end why Jesus Christ was taken into Heaven, into the Holy of Holiest; that he might In∣tercede. According to the Scriptures mentioned before, in Heb. 9.24. For Christ is not entered into holy places made with hands, but into Heaven it self, now to appear in the presence of God for us. He does not say thus, Christ is now gone to Heaven, to be glorified there; Christ is now gone to Hea∣ven, to injoy the bosome of his Father, for his own happi∣ness. No, but he is gone into Heaven to appear in the pre∣sence of God for us. This is the end of his ascention. And so again in the 7. of the Hebrews, Wherefore, he is able to save to the uttermost, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us. What? is he in Heaven to be glorified there? No, but the end why Christ is in Heaven, Is to make intercession for poor sinners: And therefore, he must needs be infinitly willing to do this, because it is the end of his going thither, into the Holy of Holiest. Oh therefore, be of good comfort, all you that do come unto God by him, for he is willing to intercede for you. And let not any thing discourage you: It may be you will complain, and say Oh! but I am much opposed here in this world. What matter, so long as Jesus Christ does intercede for me in Heaven, and speaks good words unto God the Father for me in heaven; what though I be opposed by men? It may be you will complain, and say, Oh! but I am much tempted, and cannot pray. Be humbled for it; but yet know this, That when you cannot pray, Christ prayes for you; and he prayes that you may pray. It may be you complain, and say, Oh! but I la∣bour under such and such corruptions, and the Devil he is busie with me, exceeding busie, and I cannot overcome them: and the Devil stands at my right hand for to tempt me, and to lead me into such and such sins. Wel, be it so, yet notwithstanding, the Lord Jesus Christ, he is at the right hand of our Father, and he is set down at the right hand of God the Father, till all enemies be made his foot∣stool; Page  48and your sins are his enemies: And therefore be of good comfort, O all ye people of the Lord. Is there ever a poor myrtle-tree, a soul that growes in a bottom, in a poor dark condition? be of good comfort, the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, he is entered into Heaven, into the Holy of Holiest, there to intercede with God the Father for thee.

I but, [Quest.] you will say unto me: Does not this conduce to our Grace, and Holiness too? and how does it do it?

This Intercession of Jesus Christ; [Ans.] this work of the Priest∣ly Office of Christ, and the consideration thereof, it does conduce exceedingly unto our Grace, and Holinesse. For.

First, [unspec 1] What a mighty incouragement is here unto all poor sinners, for to come unto Jesus Christ? He ever liveth to make Intercession for those that come unto God by him: Oh! then, who would not come unto God by Christ? who would not come unto Jesus Christ? Me thinks a poor sin∣ner should say, Indeed my sins were so great, that I was a∣fraid for to come unto God: But now I hear, that the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven, to make intercession, for all those that come unto God by him; Though I have been a Drunkerd, now I wil go unto God by Christ: And though I have been a Swearer, and though I have been an unclean wanton, yet I will go unto God by Christ. Indeed, I thought that my time was past; for I have been an Old Swearer; and I have been an Old Drunkard; and I have been an Old Sabbath-breaker; and I have been a sinner so long, that I was even afraid of going to God at all; and thought there was no mercy, nor no pardon for me: But seeing now, that this is true, That the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven, to make intercession for all those that come un∣to God by him; Well, through the Lords grace, now I will go unto the Lord Christ, I will go unto Jesus Christ: I indeed, am a young man, and I thought it was to no purpose to go unto God, God would not regard poor ig∣norant ones, and I am a poor ignorant creature, and Page  49thought it was to no purpose for me to go unto God: But now I understand this, That the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven to make intercession for all those that come unto God by him: Well then, Though I am ignorant, yet will I go unto God by Christ: and though I am but a poor young thing, and scarce understand the termes of Religi∣on; yet will I go unto God by Christ. Oh! come unto Christ, come unto Christ: Behold here, in the Name of the Lord, I stand and make invitation to poor sinners; Come poor Drunkard, Swearer, Sabbath-breaker, Un∣clean heart; the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven to make intercession for all that come unto God by him; and will not you come? Oh! how will you answer it at the great day? when it shall be said, The Lord Jesus Christ made a tender, and offer of mercy to you, and you would not ac∣cept of it, you would not come unto him. Here is matter of great Incouragment unto all poor sinners to come unto Jesus Christ.

Again Secondly, The more I apprehend, [unspec 2] or see with a spiritu∣al eye, That the Lord Jesus Christ does appear in Heaven for me▪ the more am Fingaged to appear upon earth for him. (Mark I pray, that you may see how this does conduce unto Grace, and Holiness.) Ah! shall the Lord Jesus Christ appear in Heaven, before Saints, and Angels, and God the Father for my soul? and shal I be afraid to appear before poor worms for him? Shall the Lord Jesus Christ own me in Heaven? and shall not I own him upon earth? Shall the Lord Jesus Christ, as the great High-Priest, take my name, and carry it upon his breast into the presence of God the Father? and shall not I take the Name of Christ, and hold it forth to the world? Oh! I beseech you consider, what a mighty ingagement is here, to stand to and appear for the Lord Christ, and to own his Cause in these backsliding times; because he is now in Heaven appearing for you, and ma∣king intercession for you.

Thirdly, The more I confider, or apprehend, [unspec 3] That the Lord Jesus Christ does lay out himself for me, the more am I ingaged Page  50to lay out my selfe for him. The Scripture saies, He ever liveth to make intercession for you. He laies out his whole E∣ternity for you. Me thinks we have here before us, the greatest argument in the world for to make us to walke closely with God in Christ: For, shall the Lord Jesus Christ, spend of his Eternity for me? and shall not I spend of my whole time for him? He Ever liveth: he Ever liveth to make intercession. Before the world was made, his de∣light was in the habitable parts of the earth, among the children of men. He laid out himself in delighting upon you before the world was made. Well, in due time, he comes down into the world; and here while he was upon the earth, he laid out himself fully for you. Then he Dies, and goes up to Heaven, and (saies he) I go to prepare a place for you. He was at work for you, before the world began; Then he comes down upon the earth, and here he spends all his time for you: And now that he is gone to Heaven; the text saith, He ever liveth to make intercession for you: he spends off all his eternity for you. Oh! does not the Lord Jesus grutch me Eternity, to spend off his Eternity for my soul? and shall I grutch the Lord Jesus Christ a little time, to spend a little time for him? Surely, people don't think what Christ is doing in Heaven for them, (you that are Saints especially) if you did, you could not be padling in the world so much. Shall the Lord Jesus Christ be ap∣pearing in Heaven for me? and shall I be digging in the world? Shall he be making mention of my name unto God the Father, and interceding for me? and shall I be sinning against him? shall I be contending with his children? shall I now be joyning with his Enemies? shall I be opposing his waies? Oh! if people would but think, what the Lord Jesus Christ is doing in heaven for them, they could not re∣bel so in the world against him as they do. Wherefore, that you may be kept from your sins, & kept frō the world, think of these things. The Apostle saies, These things have I written unto ye, that ye sin not: and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And so Page  51say I to you, I have been here delivering to you this Do∣ctrine, concerning the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ: and these things have I preach't unto you, that you sin not. And therefore, that you may be kept from sin, and your hearts made more Holy; think of the Priestly Office of Je∣sus Christ, he is gone into Heaven to make intercession for you. And thus have I discovered the Second Particular of the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ. A Third follows.

Page  52

SERMON III.


HEBREWES 2.17, 18.
Wherefore in all things it behoved him, to be made like unto his brethren, that be might be a merciful, and faithful High-Priest,* in things pertaining to godliness, to make reconcili∣ation for the sins of the people. For in that He himselfe hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

WE have found already, That the work of the High-Priest was, and is, To Satisfie, and to Intercede for the sins of the peo∣ple

Now if we inquire further, we shall find also, That the work of the High-Priest was, and now is, To offer up the gifts of the people unto God: To present our, Prayers, Praises, Duties, Servi∣ces, and all spiritual Performances unto God the Father, and to procure acceptance of him. This was done thus: In the times of Moses, in the Tabernacle there were two Parts, or Courts; (as we reade in the 9. Chapter of the Hebrews) In the one, which was called, The Holy of Holiest; there was the Arke, the Mercy-Seat, the Cherubims of glory, and the golden Censer. In the other, there was the Brasen-Altar, upon which they offered sacrifices, there was the table of Shewbread, the golden Candlestick, and the golden Altar, upon which incense was: This is expresly laid down in the 2, 3, and 4. verses of that 9. of Hebrews: For there was a taber∣nacle Page  53made, the first wherein was the candlestick and the table and the shew-bread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the Second vail, the tabernacle which is called the holiest of all, which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant, overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aarons rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And o∣ver it the cherubims of glory shadowing the Mercy-Seat. And as every day, morning and evening, there was a lamb offe∣red, a sacrifice for the sins of the people, upon the Brasen-Alter; So every day, morning and evening, there was in∣cense also, upon the golden-Altar: which was performed while the people were without at prayer, mingling that incense with their prayers; As it is in the 1. Chap. of Luke, the 8, 9, and 10. verses. It came to passe that while he (that is, Zacharias) executed the Priests Office before God in the order of his course, according to the cusiome of the Priests office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord: and the whole multitude of the people were praying without, at the time of incense. So that the incense, was at a time when they were sweetly mingling their prayers and the incense together. But now, although that there was a sacrifice every day, yet once in the yeer, th High-Priest came, and he took the blood of the Sacrifice, and carried it into the Holy of Holi∣est, and sprinkled the Mercy-Seat therewith. And al∣though there was incense too, from the Golden Altar eve∣ry day, yet once in the yeer, the High-Priest came, and he took the golden Censer, and putting incense into it from off the golden Altar, went into the Holy of Holiest and caused a cloud of perfume to arise upon the Mercy-Seat. All which was a great Type of Jesus Christ our High-Priest: who though he offered up himself a sacrifice once for sin without, yet when he died, and ascended, he carried the vertue of that his blood into the Holy of Holiest, into Hea∣ven, and sprinkled the Mercy-Seat therewith: Although he began to make Intercession while he lived, as we reade in the 17. of John; yet when he ascended up into Heaven, the Holy of Holiest, then he did take his golden Censer, Page  52〈1 page duplicate〉Page  53〈1 page duplicate〉Page  54and carried his Intercession into Heaven, causing a cloud of sweet perfumes to arise upon the Mercy-Seat: which stil he does, whilst we are praying here without, he mingling all our Duties with his Intercessions; and so taking all toge∣ther as one, presents it unto God the Father for our accep∣tance. And this he does now as our High-Priest; for if we look into this book of the Hebrews, we shall find, That the Apostle speaking of the High Priest, relating unto Jesus Christ; saies, in the 5. Chapter and the 1. verse, That it was his work to offer Gifts: That he may offer both Gifts and sacrifices. And so in the 8. Chapter and the 3. vers. Every High-Prist is ordained to offer Gifts and Sacrifices. Thus we have another great work, of our great High-Priest; which is, To offer up all our Prayers, our Duties, our Gifts unto God the Father: which if ye will, we may call another part of Christs Intercession; but I handle it distinct.

Now that I may open & cleer this great Gospel-Mystery, I shall endeavour to discover:

First, What Jesus Christ, our High-Prist, doth, when be does offer up our Gifts unto God the Father.

Secondly, What abundance of favour, and acceptance, this our great High-Priest himself hath in Heaven.

Thirdly, That he doth improve all that his own acceptance, for our acceptance; planting all our Duties upon his own accep∣tance, upon that acceptance that he hath with the Father.

Fourthly, What abundance of acceptance therefore we have, in all our Duties by him.

Fiftly, How this doth conduce to our Grace, and to our Com∣fort?

First, [Quest. 1] What doth our Lord and Saviour Christ, our great High-Priest, when he offers up our Gifts unto God the Fa∣ther?

First, [Answ. 1] He doth take our persons, and carries them in unto God the Father, in a most unperceivable way to us. He knows, that if our Person be not first accepted, our Duty cannot be ac∣cepted. Love me, and love my Duty; love me, & love my Service: hate me, and hate my Service. In the Covenant Page  55of Works, God did first accept of the work, and then of the Person, the Person for the work: But in the Covenant of Grace, God doth first accept of the Person, and then the Work. Now therefore, that our Work, and our Du∣ty may be accepted with God the Father; The Lord Christ, our High-Priest, doth first take our Person, and our Name, and carries them into the presence of God the Fa∣ther. This was plainly shadowed out unto us, by that of the High-Prest; Who went into the Holy of Holiest, with the Names of all the Tribes upon his breast. Which the Apostle speaks out plainly:*In whom we have accesse with boldness. The word Accesse, as some observe, is Manuducti∣on, Hand-leading: In whom we have an Hand-leading; or by whom we are led by the Hand, unto God the Father. As a child, having run away from his Father, is taken by the hand of a friend, or of his Elder brother, and brought again into the presence of his father: So, all we having run away from God, are taken, and led again into the presence of the Father by the hand of Jesus Christ. He is that lad∣der that Jacob saw, upon whom we do ascend into the bo∣some of God, and go into Heaven. Our High-Priest Je∣sus Christ, doth first take our Persons, and lead us into the presence of God the Father. That is the first.

Secondly, As he doth take our Persons, and lead, [unspec 2] and carry us into the presence of God the Father: So, when we do perform any Duty, he doth observe what evil, or failing there is in that Duty, and draws it out, takes it away before he presents the Duty-unto God the Father. A Child that would present his father with a Nose-gay, or Posie, goes into the garden, and he ga∣thers flowers, and weeds together; but coming to his mo∣ther, she takes them, and picks out the weeds, and binds up the flowers by themselves, and so it is presented to the father, Thus it is with us: We go to Duty, and we ga∣ther weeds, & flowers together: But the Lord Jesus Christ, he comes and picks out the weeds, and then he presents no∣thing but flowers unto God the Father.

And this we have plainly set forth unto us, by that of Page  56the High-Priest taking away the iniquities of the Holy things of Gods people, in the 28. Chapter of Exodus, Thou shalt make a plat-form of pure gold (at the 36. verse) and grave upon it like the ingravings of a signet, HOLINES UNTO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the Mytre; upon the forefront of the Mytre it shall be. Then at the 38. verse, And it shall be on Aarons forehead (that is, the High-Priest) that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the Children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy guifts: and it shall be alwaies upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. Thus taking away the ini∣quity of their holy things. So it is said concerning our Saviour Christ, in the 3. Chapter of Malachy, the 2, 3, & 4. verses, Who may abide the day of his coming? (plainly under∣stood of Christ, as appears by the first vers.) Then at the 3. He shall sit as a refiner, and purifier of silver; and he shall pu∣rifie the Sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and selver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the dayes of old. Then shall their offerings be pleasant; When? when he hath purg'd their sacrifices, and their of∣ferings. This in the daies of his flesh and now much more. This is the Second thing, that the Lord Christ, our great High-Priest doth in offering up our Gifts unto God the Father, He takes out the weeds.

Thirdly: [unspec 3] As he takes away the iniquity of our holy things; So he observes what good there is in any of our Duties, or Perfor∣mances; and with that he mingles his own Prayers and Interces∣sions; his own Intense; and presents all as one work mingled to∣gether unto God the Father. This we have so fully in the 8. Chapter of the Revelation, that I need name no other place. Another Angel (at the 3. verse) stood at the Altar, having a golden Censer, and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all Saints upon the golden Altar, which was before the Throne. And the smoke (at the 4. verse) of the incense which came with the prayers of the Saints, ascended up before God, out of the Angels hand: This must Page  57needs be understood of Christ; for no Angel does inter∣cede but Christ, who is called, The Angel of the Covenant. 'Tis said here, He stood at the Altar, having a golden Cen∣ser: Which none of the High-Priests had: and there was given unto him much incense, and this he offered with the prayers of all the Saints; and the smoake of the incense came with the prayers of the Saints, and ascended up be∣fore the Lord. He alludes unto the way, and custome of the Jewes, and the High-Priest: shewing, that the Lord Jesus Christ doth all this for us, as our great High-Priest: that is the meaning of it. So that this is plain what he doth, when as our great High-Priest, he offers up our Gifts unto God the Father.

But in the Second place: Suppose he doth so, What Favour, [Quest. 2] or Acceptance hath this our great High-Priest in Heaven?

He hath very much: [Answ.] Father (saies he) I thank thee that thou hearest me alwaies. He never spake a word unto God the Father, but the father heard him alwaies. We reade (as I remember) but of Two places in the new Testament, where the Lord by an audible voice, gives testimony of Je∣sus Christ his Son: And in both those places, we have the same words uttered, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: And again; This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. We may know what favour a man hath with another, by the Trust that he doth commit to, and re∣pose upon him: Joseph had great favour in the eyes of Pharaoh; and how did it appear? It appear'd by this, Be∣cause Pharaoh trusted him with so much. Now God the Father, hath trusted Jesus Christ, this our great High-Priest, very much. This I shall evidence in Four Particulars, viz. What a great Trust God the Father hath put upon him.

First, It was an agreement between God the Father, [unspec 1] and Christ, the Second Person; before the world was, That in due time, he should come into the world, take flesh up∣on him, and die for sinners: and he did so. But before Christ came into the world, there were thousands of souls saved; How came they to be saved? They came to be saved Page  48by the blood of Christ, and before Christ had died. So then, God the Father saved them upon Christs bare word, That he would come into the world, and die for them. What a mighty Trust was here? That so many hundred thousand souls should be saved, upon a bare word of Christ That he would come into the world, and die for them af∣terward.

Again, [unspec 2] The Trust appears in this: That he was made when he did come into the world, the great Lord-Treasu∣rer of all the Grace, and Comfort, that should be given out unto the children of men. When Pharaoh trusted Joseph, all the whole kingdom was put into his hand, with the Corn thereof, and not a grain was to be given out to any but as Joseph gave it out: which argued a mighty Trust. So now, That not any Grace, or Comfort, given out to the children of men, but only by the hand of Christ, it argues a mighty Trust that the Father put upon him.

But yet further, [unspec 3] When our Lord and Saviour Christ di∣ed, and ascended unto God the Father to Heaven; as soon as ever he came into Heaven, saith the Father to him, Thou hast now suffered, Aske of me, and I will give thee the Heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy posses∣sion: all the world at one word. Aske of me (saith he) and at the first word I will give thee the whole world. It was a mighty, and a great Trust that the Father did put upon him.

Yea, [unspec 4] as if all this were not enough; The Father did put the keyes of Heaven, and of Hell into his hand: the keyes of Heaven and Hell into the hand of Christ. So we reade in the 1. of Revel. 18. ver. I am he that liveth, and was dead: and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keyes of Hell and of death. There's no man that goes to Hell, but he is lok't in by Jesus Christ: And there's no man goes to Heaven, but Christ hath the keyes of Heaven, and he locks him in there unto all Eternity. The Lord Jesus Christ, he hath the keyes of Hell, and of Heaven; he hath the keyes of all mens Eternities hanging at his girdle. Oh! Page  49what an infinite Trust is here, that God the Father hath put upon him! Then let us conclude, if that Trust do ar∣gue favour; and the Lord Jesus Christ, our High-Priest, hath such a great trust as this put into his hands by the Fa∣ther; what infinite Acceptance must he needs have with God the Father.

In the Third place,: Suppose that he have all this favour, [Quest. 3] and Acceptance in Heaven, Doth he Improve this his Favour, and Acceptance for our Acceptance, and for our Favour?

Yes, He Improves all this his favour, and acceptance, [Answ.] for our acceptance, and does plant all our Prayers, and Duties, upon his own acceptance. Lord, (saith he unto his Father concerning beleevers) I will, that where I am, they may be also: I will, O Lord, that they may be One, even as thou Father and I am one. He doth not count himself full, and happy, but in the happiness, and fulness of the Church. And therefore, as Christ is called, The fulness of God the Father: So the Church is called, The fulness of Jesus Christ: in the 1. of the Ephesians, and the last verse; Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. When our Lord and Saviour Christ came to die, and the heart and love of God the Father was let out unto him: Ye shall find, if ye look upon that 17. of John, and reade it all over, That he spends his time, not so much in praying for him∣self: The time was but short, and his prayer short, Father, if it be possible let this cup passe: if not, yet not my will, but thine be done. But he spends most of the time, in praying, and interceding for those that did beleeve, or should afterward beleeve. The favour, and acceptance which the High-Priest had, in the times of Moses, was not for himself: he had a Mitre upon his head, and a golden girdle upon his loynes, Priestly garments; and he had great acceptance when he went into the Holy of Holiest; but it was not for himself, he did improve it all for the people: he was to lay it out all for the people, and not for himself. Our High-Priest, goes beyond all other High-Priests in this par∣ticular also: for now, as for other High-Priests, though Page  60they went in with their incense, and covered the Mercy-seat with a cloud; yet it was but once in the yeer: But our High-Priest, is alwaies in the Holy of Holiest, and never goes out of it, ever covering the Mercy-Seat with his Inter∣cessions. Take their High-Priest, and though he were ve∣ry Holy, as Aaron was; yet sometimes he made the people naked, unacceptable: But our great High-Priest, never makes his people naked, but alwaies clothes them with his own righteousness.

Take their High-Priest, and though he did go into the Holy of Holiest for the people, yet he never led the people into the Holy of Holiest, they stood without: But our great High-priest, is not only gone into the Holy of Holiest him∣self, but doth also lead every poor beleever into the Holy of Holiest: as we reade in the 10. of the Hebrews, and the 19. verse: Having therefore brethren boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus Christ. The people might not enter in∣to the Holiest, in the time of the Jewes: But our great High-Priest, hath improved his favour for us thus far, that every man may come into the Holy of Holiest.

Now, If our great High-Priest in this respect, go beyond all the High-Priests that ever were before him, and they did improve their interest, and their favour, and their ac∣ceptance for the people, much more doth the Lord Jesus Christ, our High-Priest, improve the favour, interest, and acceptance that he hath in heaven, for our acceptance, and and the acceptance of all our Duties. And that is a Third Particular.

But, [Quest. 4] If that it be so; then surely we have great acceptance in all our Duties: but have we so?

Yes, [Answ.] very great, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ our High-Priest. And therefore, if we look into the 14. of John, our Lord and Saviour saith, Whatsoever ye aske in my Name (at the 13. verse) that will I do. I but, may we be sure of this? He repeats it again (in the 14. verse) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. Yea, that ye may see what great acceptance we have now through him, in all Page  61those Duties that we offer up to God the Father: saith he, in the 16. Chap. and the 26. vers. At that day ye shall aske in my name: and I say not unto ye, that I will pray the father for you: for the father himself loves you. It is a mighty high speech. I don't say, That I will pray for you: Ye shall have so much favour and love in Heaven, from the Father imediately, that he will hear you presently. I, but is not all upon Christs account? Yes, and therefore saith he, at the 13. verse of the 14. chapter, Whatsoever ye shall aske in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. So that all is upon Christs account. Great was the testimony of Christs acceptance which he had from Hea∣ven, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Now if we look into the Scripture, we shall find, that the same words are given unto the Saints. Is the Lord Jesus Christ called the Son of God? My beloved Son: So are Belee∣vers too; As many as receive him, have power to be called the Sons of God. Is he called, The Beloved Son of God? This is my beloved Son: So are the Saints also; In the 31. chapter of Jeremy, at the 20. verse. Ephraim my deer Son, a pleasant child. Ephraim; that is, Israel, my deer Son, a pleasant child. Well, Is it said, In whom I am well pleased? my be∣loved Son, in whom I am well pleased: The same word also is given to men. When our Lord and Saviour Christ was born into the world, the Angels they came and sung at his birth, and they sung, Good will towards men; So we reade it: but it is the same word that is used concerning Christ himself, My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. So that whatsoever word there is in all this speech. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: whatsoe∣ver word there is in that sentence concerning Christ, 'tis gi∣ven also unto the Saints, unto Beleevers; so greatly does he improve his own favour & acceptance for our acceptance, and so great acceptance have we through Christ.

Yea, As the Lord Jesus Christ is said to be made sin for us, in the Abstract: So are we said to be made Righteousnes∣ses by him; in the Abstract too: As we have it, in the 1. of Page  52the Canticles, & the 3. vers. Therefore do the Virgins love thee: so we reade it in our english translation: But in the He∣brew it is Therefore do the Righteousnesses love thee. The Saints and Beleevers through Christ, are called, Righteousnesses, in the Abstract. So that here is the great acceptance, that the Saints, and Beleevers do find through this acceptation of Jesus Christ our High-Priest.

But, [Quest.] Suppose a man be very poor, and lives in some mean cot∣tage; which hath but one room to lie, dine and sup in; and that a smoky, dark room too: and this poor creature comes and prayes unto God: Will the Great and Glorious God of Heaven and Earth take notice of such a prayer, from such a worme as this? and shall he find acceptance with God the Father?

For answer to that, [Answ.] look into the 2. of the Canticles, and the 14. verse. O my dove that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, (they are the words of Christ) let me hear thy voice; Why? for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. But I pray, where now is the Church? In the clefts of the rock, and in the se∣cret places of the staires: in a hole under the staires (as it were) in a poor distressed place, an hidden place; now (saies he) here thy voice is sweet, and thy tountenance comely.

Well, [Quest.] But suppose that a Duty, or service be performed by one that is weak; weak in Grace, or weak in parts and Gifts: for this is my case, (will some say) I am one of very weak parts and Gifts, and I have little Memory, or Ability of speech; there are some men indeed, that are of great Parts, and Graces, and when they pray, I make no question but their prayers do find acceptance; but as for me, I am one of very mean Abilities; Oh! can there be any acceptance of such prayers as mine are through Jesus Christ? Will God answer such stammerings, lispings, halfe-words, broken imperfect petitions?

Yes, [Answ.] We know that the paire of Turtles were accepted in the time of the Law, by those that could offer no more. Surely much more now, will a poor Turtle be accepted in the time of the Gospel. & those that could but bring Goats-haire, Page  53towards the making of the Tabernacle, they were welcome: and shall it not be so now, much more in the times of the Gospel? That which is little, in regard of Quantity, it may be great, in regard of Proportion; as the widdows mite was. The Sun fals (we know) with a com∣mon influence upon all the Herbs, and Plants: but there is a several sweetness, and flowers that are of a several, and different growth: There is the Rose, and there is the Vio∣let: The Violet is not so Tall as the Rose, the Violet lies on the ground; but though the Violet be not so tall as the Rose, the Violet hath its sweetnesse; and it may say to the Rose, Though I be not so tall, yet I have my sweetness as well as thou hast. So now, there is a common influence from Jesus Christ upon all the Saints, and they have their several sweetness; one as the Rose, and the other as the Vi∣olet: It may be, here lies a poor Christian upon the ground like the Violet, and is not so tall in Gifts and Parts as the other is; but yet notwithstanding, he hath his sweetness. Christ takes that lovingly that comes from love, whatever it be, though it be never so weak.

Well, But suppose that a mans Duty, [Quest.] or Service be performed with many failings, infirmities; Hardness of heart, Straightness of spirit, distracting thoughts; this is my case: Oh! is there any acceptance for such a Duty as this is? will the Lord Jesus Christ, the great High-Priest, take such a Duty as this is, and carry it in unto God the Father, and is there any acceptance for such a Duty as this?

We know how it was with Nicodemus, [Answ.] and the woman that came trembling, and touched the hem of Christs gar∣ment. And we must know that in every duty, that we do performe, there are Two things: There is the Sacrifice; and there is the Obedience in offering the Sacrifice. Though the Sacrifice may be imperfect, yet your Obedience in offering the Sacrifice, may be perfect, with Gospel-per∣ction. 'Tis in regard of our Duties, as in regard of our Persons; never think that God will deal otherwise with our Duties, than he deals with our Persons. The Lord Page  64came and justified the ungodly, when he justified you: He comes, and he finds a poor soul in a sinful condition, & he imputes his righteousness unto that soul, and justifies an un∣godly one, not justifying him so, as to go on in sin; it is the word of the Apostle, He justifies the ungodly. So the Lord comes, and finds a great deal of ungodliness in your Duty, and he imputes his righteousness unto that Duty; and he justifies the Duty, which in your eye is an ungodly duty. This indeed is the wonder of all, that he should deal thus by us: For, did we ever hear of any garment, that would make the crooked straight? If a man have a croo∣ked back; come and put velvet upon him, silk, scarlet up∣on him, it may make him handsomer, but it will not change his back, and make him strait. But when the Lord Christ comes, he finds all our souls crook-back't, as it were, and he puts on his righteousness, and this garment makes that that was crooked to become straite; it makes the very crook-back't Duty, to become a strait Duty. Did we e∣ver hear, or reade, of any Seal, that when it was set upon the wax, would change the wax into gold, or into silver like the seal? it may leave it's impression, but it does not change the wax into it's own mettall. If there be a stamp set upon silver, or gold, the mettal remains as it was be∣fore: But if a stamp be set upon brasse, it don't make it sil∣ver; or if it be set upon silver, it don't make it gold. I but when the Lord Jesus Christ comes unto a Duty, and sets his own stamp, and his own righteousness upon a Duty, that which was brasse before; full of failings, and much unrighteousness before, changes it into gold, into silver. He only hath the Philosophers stone (as I may so speak) all that Christ touches turns into gold; turns all our Du∣ties into gold: and when he hath done so, he presents them unto God the Father. This our great High-Priest doth. And this is the Fourth thing.

But how doth all this make for our Comfort, [Quest. 5] or for our Grace?

Surely, [Ans.] we cannot but see already how it doth make for our Comfort:

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Is it not a comfortable thing, for a man to know, that his Duties are not lost? that his Prayer is not lost? that his Hearing the word is not lost? that his Searching the Scrip∣tures is not lost? that his Conference, and Communion is not lost? A man is unwilling to lose any thing: and the more precious it is, the more unwilling to lose it. If we have a venture at Sea; we are unwilling to lose our ven∣ture: and the greater our venture is, the more unwilling to lose it. If a man have but a quarter of his Estate in a vessel, he is unwilling to lose it; more unwilling if he have half his Estate; most if he have all, and his children there in the vessel too. Now as men are unwilling to lose their worldly venture: So, a man that is sensible of his soul, is very unwilling to lose his souls venture; to lose his Prayers, and to lose all his Duties. (Friends) here's an Insuring-Office; The Lord Jesus Christ is our great Insurer in this respect: and he doth as he is our High-Priest, offering up our Gifts unto God the Father, assure us that none is lost, not any lost. Indeed, if we had such an High-Priest, as were not able to take notice of the Circumstances of our Duties, much might be lost: but, this our Lord Christ, our great High-Priest, doth not only take notice of our Duty what ever it be; but of all the Circumstances of our Duties, and so presents them unto God the Father, in the full latitude, in all the gracious Circumstances of them. Therefore saith he, unto the Angel of the Church of Pergamos in the 2. of the Revelation, and the 13. verse; I know thy works. Why, but Lord, though thou doest know our works, yet it may be thou doest not take notice where our work is done: Lord, it may be thou doest take notice of my Prayer, but Lord, thou doest not take notice where I dwell, and live, and in what family I do pray unto thee; Lord, I am in a wicked, and a wretched family, that does oppose Pra∣yer: Lord, may be thou doest take notice of my Prayer, but thou doest not take notice, of this Circumstance: Yes, (saies he) I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satans seat is. Well, and thou holdest fast my Name, and hast Page  66not denied my faith, even in those daies wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. It's remarkable, The Lord Jesus Christ takes notice, not only of our Duty; but of every Circumstance of the Duty, and so he presents it unto God the Father, not only the Duty, but the Circumstance of the Duty; and therefore there is not a haire of your Duty lost, not one graine of your Duty lost: is not this an unspeakable Comfort unto a poor soul, that it knows that nothing is lost of all the Prayers it hath made unto God, that there is no losse at all? The very pantings of our hearts at the Throne of grace, are received into the bosom of our Heavenly Fa∣ther.

Further, [unspec 2] Is it not a Comfort for a man to have liberty to go unto the Mercy-Seat, and there for to meet with God? 'Tis said of wicked men, That they sit in the seat of the scornful. There is, (it seems then) the seat of the scornful; and there is a Mercy-Seat: A Drunkard, when he is with his drun∣ken company, and sits upon the Ale-bench (it may be) scorning, and jeering at some of the godly, making songs on them, he is set upon the seat of the scornful; that is a cursed seat. I but, there is another seat, there is a Mercy-Seat; and there is never a poor Saint and Child of God, but he may go in to the Mercy-Seat of the Lord Jesus Christ that hath all the favour, and acceptance in Heaven; he carries him into the Mercy-Seat, and God the Father will never put him by; what Comfort is here!

Besides, [unspec 3] Is it not a great Comfort to a man, for to know how it shall go with him at the great day of Judg∣ment? When there shall be hundred thousands at the right hand of Christ; & hundred-thousands at the left hand of Christ; when all faces shall gather palenesse? Oh! (saies one) that I did but know, how it shall go with me at that day! This Doctrine tels us, The Lord Jesus Christ shall be our Judge at that day, and he that shall judge us then, he takes our Prayers and all our Duties now, and carries them in unto the presence of God the Father, & by him we have Page  67acceptance, and according to these we shall be judged. Surely then, if he takes our Duties and carries them in for acceptance, unto God the Father, he will never judge you for them, and condemn you for them at that day. Here is Comfort!

Once more, Is it not a Comfort, [unspec 4] for a poor begger to be relieved at a rich-mans door? We are al beggers in regard of Heaven; and the Lord Jesus Christ, he does not only come forth and serve us, but he takes us (poor beggers) by the hand, and leads us in to his Father. Oh! what Comfort is here! what Comfort is here!

Indeed if I were able to say, That the Lord did accept my Duty,*this were Comfort indeed; if I were able to conclude, That the Lord Jesus Christ did take my Prayers, and my Duties, and carry them in unto God the Father; this were sweet consolation: but how shall I know that?

If the Lord Jesus Christ be our High-Priest, [Ans.] then we may say also, that he takes our duties, and carries them in for acceptance unto God the Father: if we may say that Jesus Christ hath satisfied for us, and doth intercede for us, then we may say also, that he takes our duties, and carries them for acceptance unto God the Father.

But yet a little further, to bring this Comfort nearer to your hearts; give me leave to appeal to you:

First. Whosoever thou art that makes this Objection: [unspec 1] Didst thou never find a spiritual fire come down from Hea∣ven (as it were) upon thy heart in Duty, or after Duty? In the times of the old-Testament, if they offered up a sacri∣fice, and a material fire came down from Heaven and burnt up the sacrifice to ashes, it was a certain testimony, that the sacrifice was accepted. Now in the times of the Gospel we must not expect material fire to come down upon our Du∣ties: But hath the Lord at any time caused an inward, and spiritual fire to fall down upon thy heart, warming thy spirit in Dutie? there the Lord speaks thus much to thee; Thy sacrifice is turn'd into ashes, and it is accepted by Je∣sus Christ.

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Again, [unspec 2] Did you never find in your heart (you that make this Objection) to Pray, and Cry, and Intercede for others, for the godly especially? Look what disposition there is in your heart towards the members of Christ, there is the same disposition in Christ's heart towards you. Ah! do you think that there is love in your bosome towards the Saints; and that there is none in Christ's heart towards you? Do you think that your bowels are more large than Christ's? Canst thou find in thine heart to go unto God, when thou seest a Saint in misery, to go to God, and pray, and cry, and intercede for him? and don't you think that the Lord Jesus hath as much bowels towards you, to go and intercede for you, and present your prayers unto God the Father.

Further, [unspec 3] Don't you look upon your own Duties, as co∣ming from your selves, most unworthy? Beloved! 'tis in regard of Duties, as it is in regard of Persons: When a man does judge himself to be most unworthy, then Christ counts him worthy, God counts him worthy in Christ. As you reade in the 1. of the Canticles, saies the Spouse there, ver. 5. I am black (O ye daughters of Jerusalem) as the tents of Kedar: Look not upon me because I am black, ver. 6. Now would you see Christs opinion of her, that counts her self black? saith she, Black, and Black again: but Christ saith concerning her; verse, 8. O thou fairest among women. She calls her self Black, and Christ cals her Fair, and the Fairest a∣mong women. Now, when a man doth count himself most unworthy, God counts him most worthy: and when a man looks upon his own Duties, and Sacrifices, as most unwor∣thy, they are look't upon by Jesus Christ as most worthy, poor prayers in our eyes, are precious in Gods eye.

A word more, [unspec 4] Don't ye think, that grace is larger now, in the times of the Gospel, than it was in the times of the Law? If ye doubt it, as unto this particular; Look upon the 30. Chapter of Exodus; compared with the 41. of Eze∣kiel. In the 30. Chapter of Exodus, The Lord commands an Altar to be made to burn incense upon; Of Shittim wood Page  69shalt thou make it; verse the 1. A cubit shall be the length there∣of, verse the 2. The Altar is for Incense; 'tis the matter that now we are upon: A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and two cubits shall be the highth ther∣of. Now in the 41. Chapter of Ezekiel, he speaks of the Altar in the times of the Gospel: and (saith he) at the 22. verse, ('tis the Altar of incense that there is prescribed to be made, the Altar of wood, of Shettem wood.) The Altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits. And yet again, this altar of incense in the times of the Go∣spel, is to be as large again, as that in the times of the Law; as high, and as long, and as large again. In the times of the Law, times of the old-Testament; a poor soul might go unto the High-Priest, and might challenge a right in him, and might say, That his Service, and his Duty, and his Sacrifice was accepted by the High-Priest. If in the times of the Old-Testament a man might say so; much more may a poor soul now go unto Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, and say, That his Service, and his Duty, and Sacrifice, is accepted through him. Here is abundance of Comfort unto the Saints: be of good comfort, all you that do beleeve.

But, How doth this make unto our Holiness, [Quest.] unto Holiness of life? We confess indeed, that there is abundance of Comfort in this, That the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, takes all our Gifts, and al our Prayers, and presents them to God the Father, and that in his acceptance, we have acceptance: but I pray, how doth all this conduce to our Holiness of life?

Much every way: [Answ.]

First, In case I be Ungodly, a Wicked man: [unspec 1] Here is that that may for ever keep me, from opposition to the good wayes of God. I have said sometimes (may a wicked man say) concerning godly mens duties, That it was their Hy∣pocrisie: And I have said concerning such and such Pro∣fessors, This is your Pride, and this is your Singularity; and I have opposed with all bitterness, and earnestness, the prayings, and wrestlings of some of Gods people? But is Page  70this true, That the Lord Jesus Christ, takes every Prayer, of the meanest of Gods Children, and carries it into the bo∣som of God the Father? and shall I spit upon that that Christ owns? shall I dare to oppose that that the Lord Je∣sus Christ presents unto his Father? The Lord in mercy pardon me: I have sinned and done foolishly, and for ought I know, I may have spoken evill of that Duty, that Christ hath carried into the presence of God the Fa∣ther: Oh! through the Lords grace then, for ever will I leave to make any opposition, against any of the good waies of God again, and I will never speake one word a∣gainst the persons, meetings, or supplications of the god∣ly again.

Again, [unspec 2] In case a man be Ungodly, a wicked man: Here is mighty incouragement, for to come unto Jesus Christ; I, and to come presently. For, is Jesus Christ the ladder that Jacob saw, by whom we go up to Heaven? doth he take all our Duties, and Prayers, and present them to God the Father for acceptance? Then, till I do come to Christ, all is nothing, all is lost: if I be a Drunkard, and will not come to Christ, Prayer is all lost; if I be a Swea∣rer, and will not come to Christ, an Unclean wretch, and will not come to Christ; all my Prayers, and all my Du∣ties are lost: Oh! the Lord pity me, (may many a poor soul say) I have lost too many Prayers already; through the Lords grace, now I will lose no more: Oh! I come to Christ, Lord, I come, I come. This is a mighty incou∣ragement, to make every man now for to come unto Jesus Christ: because the Lord Jesus, our High-Priest, takes eve∣ry Duty; and carries it into the bosom. of God the Father for acceptance. Thus for Ungodly.

Secondly, [unspec 2] In case a man be Godly; this truth doth conduce to our further Holiness, and growth in grace.

If I be Codly: [unspec 1] Then here I see infinite reason, why I should be much in Duty; not only pray, but be much in prayer. Why? for the Lord Christ taketh all, and car∣ries all into the bosom of the Father, mingles his own o∣dours, Page  71intercessions with it, although it be but a sigh, and a groane. The Apostle upon this account, makes this use of it; having spoken of Christ our High-Priest; There∣fore (saith he) let us come with boldness vnto the Throne of grace.* The word signifies, to speak all ones mind; let us come speaking all. Having such an High-Priest indeed, as will carry all into the presence of God the Father, for accep∣tance, every sigh, and every groan; then, who would not be much in prayer? speak all to Christ, be free with Christ, come with boldness? There's many a poor soul, that is much discouraged, and he dares not go to prayer, many times, afraid to go to the Throne of grace. The reason is, because he looks upon his Prayer, or Duty, as it lies upon his own heart, or as it comes from himself. Whereas, my beloved, 'tis with your Prayers, and Duties, as it is with fire: Your kitchin fire is troubled with abundance of smoake, and there is filth about it; fire upon the hearth hath much smoake: but fire above, in the Element of fire, there's no smoke. So, your Prayer, when it lies upon your own hearth (as I may say) there's a great deal of smoke; but when it gets once into the hands of Jesus Christ, there's it's Element, and it is freed from all it's smoke. Or as it is with a mans Body: so long as he lives here upon the earth, he is feeble, and weak, and many times sickly: assoon as he is come into Heaven, all his weakness is taken away, and his body being in Heaven, 'tis presently glorified, and strength put upon it, and all his diseases are gone. So 'tis with our Prayers: So long as they are here below, in our own bosoms, they are full of weakness; but assoon as our Prayer is out of our mouth, 'tis in the hand of Christ, 'tis in Heaven, 'tis glorified, the weakness is now done away; Oh! 'tis a glorified Prayer; when once 'tis gone from you, 'tis in the hand of Christ. And therefore, this is a mighty incouragement unto all those that are godly, to be, not on∣ly in Prayer, but to be much in Prayer, come with bold∣ness unto the Throne of grace.

Again, If ye be Godly; yea, if ye be Ungodly: [unspec 2] Here I Page  72see infinite reason, why I should receive every Truth that comes from Christ, though accompanied with many fai∣lings in him that speaks it. The Lord Jesus Christ, he ac∣cepts of every prayer, and duty that comes from me; though it have many weaknesses: yea, he takes my Prayer, and car∣ries it into the presence of God the Father for acceptance, my poor Prayer, labouring with many weaknesses: Then when a Truth comes from Christ, shall not I accept of it? what though the Minister, or Preacher that speaks it, la∣bour with this or that weakness? There is Pride, or there is some miscarriage in the delivery, or the like: Shall the Lord Christ take my Prayer, labouring under infirmity, and accept thereof, and carry it into the presence of God the Father for acceptance, notwithstanding all the failings of my Duty? and shall not I accept of Truth that comes from Christ, notwithstanding all the failings of the poor messenger that brings it?

Further, [unspec 3] The more Evangelical you are in your Obedience, the more Holy ye are in your lives. This truth that is now before ye, well studied and considered, will make you more Obe∣dient in an Evangelical way. And ye shall find therefore, that the Lord himself from Heaven does make this use of it: pray consult with the 17. of Matthew, and the 5. verse. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him. Those words follow, Hear him. Hearing notes Faith, and Obedience; not a bare Hearing with the ear. Compare this, and the same speech together, which ye have in the 3. of Matthew, and the 17. verse. Loe, a voyce from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Heare ye him, is not there in the 3. of Matthew; but here in the 17. of Matthew, these words are added, Heare ye him: What should the reason be, that, Hear ye him, should be added here in the 17. of Matthew, and not in the 3. of Mat. thew? Give me leave to give you some reason for it, so far as may make to our present purpose: Not to say any thing of that which Moses said, In his daies a Prophet will the Lord your God raise up unto ye like unto me, hear ye him. Page  73And now here, in this 17. of Matthew, at the transfigura∣tion, Moses and Elias appeared, which they did not in the 3. of Matthew.

First, Consider, [unspec 1] that the Emphasis may lie upon the word Hear, and not upon the word Him, only: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased: Hear ye him; His face did shine as the Sun, and his rayment was white as the light. And Christ appeared in great glory, and they stood looking upon him; Nay, (saies the Lord from Hea∣ven) do not make it a gazing matter, but, Hear him: don't stand looking upon him, but Hear him. He don't appear in such a glory in the 3. of Matthew, when he was bapti∣zed; and therefore those words are not added there.

But again, Here now in the 17. Chapter of Matthew, [unspec 2] at the Transfiguration, appears Moses, and Elias. Behold (at the 3. verse) There appeared unto them, Moses and Elias talking with him. Moses that gave the Law; Elias that re∣stored it. Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus; Lord, 'tis good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here Three Taber∣nacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses and one for Elias. Peter and so the rest of the Disciples, began for to equallize Mo∣ses to Jesus Christ: One for Moses, and one for Elias, and one for Jesus Christ; no more for Christ than for Moses. Now the Lord takes Peter off from all his mistakings: Your eye is upon Moses (saith he) but I (saith the Lord God Al∣mighty) am wel pleased in my Son: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. I am well pleased with you, and with your Duties, through this my Son, and not through Moses; and therefore Hear Christ, and not Mo∣ses. He laies this in upon it, that therefore they should be Evangelical, and hear Jesus Christ, because the Lord Christ gives acceptance unto all, and by him God is well pleased with them.

Again further, The more glory Christ does appear in, [unspec 3] the greater reason there is why we should hear him. Now here the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in glory; his face did shine as the Sun, and his raiment was white as the light. In the 3. Page  74of Matthew, he was there baptized, and he did not appear in glory: but now here he appears in glory; and there∣fore saies the Lord, now Hear him; this is your glorious Saviour, Hear him. Beloved! what greater glory can Je∣sus Christ appear to your souls in, than this, the glory of his love? he takes every one of your Duties, and your Prayers, and he carries them in to the bosome of God the Father, and by him you have acceptance. Oh! what a glorious Saviour have ye! therefore Hear him: This is that, if any thing, will make ye very Obedient to Christ, more than to Moses, to be Evangelical in all your Du∣ties.

Yet further, [unspec 4] The more a man can rejoyce in spiritual priviled∣ges with humility: and the more humble a man is, and yet can re∣joyce in his spiritual priviledges, the more holy he is: there goes a great deal of Holiness to it, to joyn these two together: for a man to rejoyce in his spiritual priviledges and yet to be humble: and to walk very humbly. Some there are, that look upon ther spiritual priviledges, and rejoyce much; but they don't walk humbly: Some labour to walk humbly, and are much troubled in the considerati∣on of their own evil; but they don't rejoyce in their spiri∣tual priviledges. Give me a Christian that doth both, and he is a blessed man. The study of this Truth that is now before you, will teach you to do both, to do both to∣gether For, what a great priviledge is this, not a figh, not a groane, not a duty, but the Lord Christ takes it, and carries it in, and presents it to God the Father for me, whereby I have acceptance? Considering this; here is matter of much joy and rejoycing. I but, It is Christ that does it; there is no such worthiness in mine own duty; it were lost, and cast away, if Jesus Christ did not take it in his hand, and carry it into the bosome of God the Father; and therefore, why should I not walk humbly.

I conclude all with this, If that the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, offers up all our Gifts unto God the Father, whereby we have acceptance: What infinite Page  75cause have we all to be Thankful to God for Christ, and to love Jesus Christ for ever!

Suppose one of you had been among the Disciples, when the Lord Christ wash't his Disciples feet; and he should have come, and wash't your feet, and have done it; would not your heart have glowed with love to Jesus Christ? Yet when the Lord Jesus Christ wash't his Disciples feet, it was in the daies of his flesh, when he was here on the earth: but now he is in glory, and yet for all this, he takes your dirty prayers, and does (as it were) wash the feet of your prayers, that he may present them to God the Father: he washes your tears over again in his bloud, and presents them to God the Father: he takes all your Duties, and perfumes them with his intercessions, and so presents them unto God the Father. Oh! what cause have we to love Jesus Christ! Oh! you, that never loved Christ, love him now; and you that have loved him before, love him much more: you that fear the lord, love the Lord: and let us all, even go away with our hearts warmed with this love, blessing, and praising the Name of the Lord.

And thus I have led you into a Third work of our great Hight Priest, which is this, To offer up the Gifts of the people unto God the Father: A Fourth follows, &c.

Page  76

SERMON IV.


HEBREWES 2.17, 18.
Wherefore in all thing it behoved him,* to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful, and faithful High-Priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconcili∣ation for the sins of the people. For in that He himselfe hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succou them that are tempted.

IT hath been opened and applied, that the work of the High-Priest, was, and is, To satisfie for the sins of the people; to make Intercession for them; and to offer up their Gifts unto God the Father; all which Christ doth for us.

I shall speak of one work more of our great High-Priest, and that is, To bless the people. We reade in the Old-Testament, of two sorts of High-Priests: One according to the order of Aaron, the Levitical High-Priest, (as I may so speak) and his work was, for to Bless the Peo∣ple; as we may reade in the 6. Chapter of Numbers, & the 23. verse: Speak unto Aaron, and unto his Sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the Children of Israel, saying unto them &c. There was another High-Priest; not according to this or∣der of Aaron; and that was Melchisedec: and he also did Blesse Abraham. And the Apostle speaking of him as a great Type of, and in relation to Jesus Christ our great High-Priest, Page  77in the 7. Chapter of this book of the Hebrews, and the 6. verse, saith, That he blessed Abrabam: But he whose de∣scent is not counted from them, received tithes of Abraham, and Blessed him that had the Promises. So then, this Blessing of the people, being the work of both the High-Priests; and both Aaron and Melchisedec being great types of Jesus Christ our High-Priest; Surely, it must needs be one of the great works of our High-Priest, for to blesse the people.

For the opening, and cleering up of this Truth, I shall endeavour to discover:

  • First, What the Blessing of Christ our High-Priest is, where∣in consists, and what Christ doth when he doth Bless the people.
  • Secondly, That it belongs unto Jesus Christ especially, for to Bless the people.
  • Thirdly, That our Lord and Saviour Christ, our great High-Priest is exceeding willing for to Bless poor sinners; and that this Blessing of the people, is a work whereunto he is much inclined, and wherein he is much delighted.
  • Fourthly, That he doth this, and doth it fully.
  • Fifthly, according to our method: How all this doth con∣duce unto our Comfort, and unto our Holiness.

First If ye aske me, What the Blessing of Christ, [Quest. 1] and of the Gospel is; and wherein it consists?

I answer First in the General, That the Blessing of the Gos∣pel, [Answ.] and of Christ, consisteth in Spiritual things especially, and not in Temporal. And therefore saith the Apostle, in that 1. of the Ephesians, and the 3. verse: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us, with all Spiritual blessings, in Heavenly places in Christ. The Curse, and Judg∣ments of God, that do befal men now under the Gospel, are not in outward afflictions, and bodily troubles so much; as in Spiritual miseries, Blindness of mind, and Hardness of heart: And so also on the contrary, the bles∣sing of the Gospel, doth not consist much in Outward things, as in Spiritual, Who hath blessed us with Spiritual blessings. Indeed, if we look into the old Testament we Page  78shall find, That when Moses did bless the people, he blest them much in Temporal blessings. in the 28. of Deuterono∣my, and the 2. verse. All these things shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God. What blessings are those? Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field: blessed shall be the fruit of thy bo∣dy, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattel, the in∣crease of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep: blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Thus he goes on in outward blessings. But now, if we look into the Gospel, and consider the bles∣sings of Jesus Christ, and lay them together with Moses, we shall find them to be Spiritual blessings. In the 5. of Mat∣thew, and the 3. verse, &c. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven: Blessed are those that mourn, for they sall be comforted. Indeed the promise of the earth comes is at the 5. vers; but he returns again to Spiritual blessings: Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after right∣ousness; for they shall be filled. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. Here are Spiritual blessings; this is the stream of the Gospel, it runs this way. When the Lord blesseth a man, he gives him that which is sutable to him. In the times of the Gospel, men are more Spiritual than they were in the times of the Law; therefore Gospel-bles∣sings, they are Spiritual blessings. Every thing gives, and communicates to another, according to what it hath it self: The Sun communicates light unto the world; because it hath light it self: And man communicates the nature of man unto his child, because he hath the nature of man himself. So our Lord Christ, when he Blesses, he com∣municates according unto what he hath himself; and his blessings especially consisting in spiritual things, so he doth blesse. Indeed, as in the times of the Old Testament there were Spiritual blessings, that were mixt with Tempo∣ral, by vertue of the Covenant that was made with Abra∣ham: So now, Outward blessings are thrown in as an o∣verplus: but yet notwithstanding, though they be not spi∣ritual in their nature, they are spiritual in their end; and Page  79so it is true to say, That the blessing of the Gospel, and of Christ is a spiritual blessing.

But more particularly, if yet ask me wherein this consist∣eth? I shall name but Two things:

First, This Blessing of the Gospel, or of Christ, [unspec 1] it consists in a supernatural, and spiritual injoyment of God in Christ, the love and favour of God in Christ. When the Priests blest in the time of the old Testament, in that 6. of Numbers, they said, The Lord cause his face for to shine upon you. The Lord make his face for to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee: the Lord blesse thee, and keepe thee. Verse, 24, 25, 26. Which the Spostle Paul expounding, in the 2 Cor. the 13. Chapter and the 14. verse, renders it thus: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. The Lord blesse thee, the Lord cause his face to shine upon you; the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you: Three times, the Lord, the Lord, the Lord; noting the Trinity; which the Apostle here explains by the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit. Blessed are the pure in heart:*for they shall see God. Seeing of God, is a blessing out of the mouth of Christ, a Gospel-blessign. And what is it for a man to see God? In the phrase of the old Testament, the He∣brew, to See, it is ordinarily used for to Injoy. In the 4. Psalme. Who will shew us any good? The word in the He∣brew is, Who will make us to See any good? that is t In∣joy good. So then, to see God, it is to injoy him. When Jacob injoyed God, he saw him; and the place it was cal∣led, Peniel; for he had seen the Lord, and there the Lord blest him. There's no seeing of God but in Christ. And therefore I say, that herein confists the blessing of the Gos∣pel, in a supernatural, and spiritual in joyment of God in Christ, the favour and love of God in Christ.

Again, It consists also, [unspec 2] in the Inhabitation of the holy Ghost in our hearts: the giving out of the holy Ghost unto the hearts of men. And therefore it is added in that place of the Corin∣thians; And the Communion of the holy Ghost, be with you all.Page  80Amen. That must needs be the great blessing of the Gospel, and so of Christ; that is the thing promised in the Gospel. What is that? If we look into the 1. Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and the 4. verse, It is said there of the Disci∣ples, That they should wait for the promise of the Father. Christ commaded them that they should not depart from Jerusa∣lem, but wait for the promise of the Father. What is that? We know what it was, and is, that which befel afterward; it was the giving out of the holy Ghost: the holy Ghost fell upon them, & this is called THE promise of the Father. That as in the times of the Old Testament, the promise was, the giving of the Son, and coming of the Second Person: So after Christ came, the great promise was, the coming of the Third Person, and the giving of the holy Ghost. When I am gone (saith Christ) I'le send ye another Comforter. He that beleeveth, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This he spake concerning the Spirit, which was not yet given, in those extraordinary emanations of gists and graces, be∣cause he was not yet glorisied. So then, the great Blessing that was to be given unto the children of men, the great Gospel-blessing, was the giving out of the holy Ghost: this is a Gospel-blessing indeed.

Well, [Ques.] But what doth Christ do, when he doth Bless?

It's observable, [Answ. 1] that when any Superiour did Blesse; a father did blesse his child, or the like, he did observe what was the choice mercy, and good in those times, and he did wish that unto his child, or unto his inferiour. And so in Isaac, and Jacobs time; the choice good it was, The dew of Heaven: and when they did blesse their children, they wish't unto them the dew of Heaven. So now, when our Iord Jesus, our great High-Priest doth blesse any man; observing that the choice mercy of the Gospel, is the injoy∣ment of God in Christ, the favour and love of God, and the giving out of the holy Ghost into a mans heart; he doth wis all this good unto him, and he saies unto God the Fa∣ther; Lord, let this poor soul have thy favour; Oh! cause thy face to shine upon this poor soul, and give out the holy Ghost unto it that it may walk after the spirit.

Page  81

In the Second place, It's observable, That when the Priests did Blesse the people, they did not barely wish good unto them, but they did Authoratatively pronounce them blessed.*They shall put my name upon them (saith the Lord) when they bless. So when the Lord Christ, our great High-Priest, doth Blesse a man, he does not barely wish him good, The Lord cause his face for to shine upon that soul, in a way of wishing: but the Lord Christ being a High-Priest, when he blesseth, he doth authoratatively pronounce such a soul to be Blessed.

Thirdly, When the Priest Blessed, [unspec 3] he did not only pro∣nounce the people Blessed: but in the Blessing of the Priest, there was a kind of Binding-power; it had the power, force, and efficacy of an Absolution. And therefore as Christ saies unto his Disciples, Go, and whosoever sins ye re∣mit, they shall be remitted: I'le stand by you in it. So saith the Lord in that same place, the 6. of Numbers. On this wise shall ye bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord blesse thee, and keep thee. and at the 27. verse, They shall put my Name upon the children of Israel, and I will blessethem. I'le stand by them in this. So when the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, doth Blesse; he doth not only pro∣nounce a man to be Blessed, but he doth Absolve him from all his sins; & (saith he) by authority that is given to me from my father, the Keyes that are put into my hand, I do Bind this blessing upon this poor soul.

Further, The Priest when he blessed, [unspec 4] indeed he could wish well, and he could pronounce a man blessed; and he might Absolve: but he could go no further, he could not confer the Blessing, he could not bestow the Blessing: But our Lord Christ, being an High-Priest beyond all the High-Priests that ever were before him in this respect too; where he doth Blesse, he bestoweth the Blessing, being God and man, he bestoweth the Blessing.

In the Fifth place, This our great High-Priest, [unspec 5] being God and Man; look how God Blesseth, so doth he Blesse. In the Scripture, ye shall find, That when God the Father Page  82Blessed, he said unto those things that he blest, Increase and Multiply: still when he blest, Increase and Multiply. So the Lord Jesus Christ our High-Preist, when he comes to blesse, he doth not barely wish good unto a poor soul, or pronounce him blessed, or beslow a good thing upon him; but saith he, O soul, Multiply in this good; the Lord increase thy Graces, and thy Gifts, and thy Comforts; poor soul, Increase and Multiply herein. This the Lord Christ our great High-Priest doth. Thus it's cleer what the Blssing of the Gospel is, wherein it consists; and what our High-Priest doth, when he doth blesse the people.

But Secondly, [Quest. 2] Does this Blessing properly, or specially belong unto Jesus Christ?

Yes,Answ. For he was made a curse for sin; he and none else made a curse for sin: and therefore it belongs unto him a∣bove all the world for to blesse. For look what evil Jesus Christ endured, the contrary good he merited for the chil∣dren of men, a power to bestow that good. Now he above all was cursed, hung upon the Crosse, and died a cursed death, he was made a curse; therefore it belongs unto him above all for to give the blessing, for to blesse poor sinners. Primum in quolibet genere &c. The first in every kind is the cause of the rest. The Sun is the cause of all the light we have here below, and 'tis the first light body. And the Lord Jesus Christ, he is the first blessing: Therefore hath they God blest thee for ever. There are Three that we reade of in Scripture especially that did blesse: The Father, the King, and the Priest: The Father did blesse his Children; the King blest his Subjects, and the Priest blest the People. Now the Lord Jesus Christ He is our Father, The Everlasting Father; He is our King, I will set my King upon my holy hill; And he is our great High-Priest: and therefore, all these relations meeting in him, it belongs unto him above all for to blesse the people.

But is the Lord Jesus Christ Willing for to Blesse poor sinners, [Quest. 3] and inclin'd unto it?

Yes, [Answ.] He is very Willing: this blessing of the people, it Page  83is a work whereunto he is much inclin'd, and wherein he is most delighted. Ye shall observe therefore, what abun∣dance of blessings Christ scattered among the people when he was here upon the earth. Ye don't reade that ever he cursed any man, formally cursed him: Once indeed, he pronounced a Curse, but it fell upon a barren fig-tree, not upon a man: But take your Bibles, and turne over from leaf to leaf, and see how frequent he was in blessing: and consider whether you do reade in al the Bible, of any Prea∣cher, or Prophet, that ever in the way of their preaching, pronounced so many Blessings as Christ did? He begins blessing, Blessed are the poor; and Blessed are those that mourn; and Blessed are those that hunger and thirst; and Blessed are those that are persecuted for my Names sake: Blessed are those that hear the Word of God and keep it: He took little children into his arms and Blest them. Do but mark in all the Gospel, how fre∣quent Christ was in Blessing, never in Cursing; more fre∣quent in blessing, than ever any Preacher was in all his Ser∣mons: What's the reason of this? Because this work of Blessing the people, is a work wherein the Lord Jesus Christ our High-Priest, is much delighted, a work whereunto he is most in clined.

Well, But doth he do it? [Quest. 4]

Yes, He doth do it, and doth it fully. [Answ.] The same place that I named will prove it, the 1. of the Ephesians, and the 3. verse, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in beavenly places IN Christ. Nor only meritoriously, but by the hand of Christ. And (saith he) He hath done it: with all spiritu∣al blessings, and he hath done it by Jesus Christ.

You will say, We don't see that men are thus blest by Christ:*for where Christ blesseth, he doth not only wish well, and good unto a wan, but he bestoweth it, yea, he doth not only bestow good, but he doth increase and multiply; But upon this account, how few are there in the world that are blest by Christ!

For Answer, [Answ. 1] It is a hard thing (sometimes) unto a Christian for to discern-this Blessing of Christ. Ye can see the Boughs, Page  84Fruit, Body, Bark of the Tree; but if ye will see the Root, ye must dig, and take pains for to see it: it's an easie thing to see the Leaves, &c. but if you would see the Root, ye must dig and take pains for it. This Blessing of Jesus Christ, it is the Root of all; and if you will see this, you must dig and take pains to see it, it does not lie open to every ones view. The Lord Jesus Christ our High-Priest, does not Blesse as man blesses; and so his Blessing is very much hid∣den from our eyes; he does not blesse as we do; he does not bless as the world does: if the world sees a Rich man, it pronounces him blessed: Oh! there's a blessed man, and there's a happy man! what an excellent Dwelling hath he, how healthful! his Table is spread &c. The world blesses Rich men, pronounces them Happy and blessed. But our Lord Jesus Christ, he does as Jacob did; when Joseph brought his two Sons to Jacob to be blest by him; he set Ephraim the younger at the left hand of Jacob; and he set Manasses the elder at the right hand of Jacob; that Jacob might give the right-hand blessing to the Elder, and the left-hand bles∣sing to the Younger: but when Joseph had set them thus before Jacob, Jacob crosses hands, and he turns the right-hand blessing to the Younger. So, two men are brought before Christ; a Rich man (it may be) and a Poor man: and in the eye of the world, the Rich man must carry the blessing: Oh! but our Lord Christ, he crosses hands, and he laies the blessing upon the younger brother many times. And so in regard of Ordinances. Two sorts of Ordinances are brought before Christ; Gods Ordinance, and Mans Ordinance; and Mans Ordinance, in the eye of the world, is the Elder brother, and Gods Ordinance the Younger brother; and both these are brought before Christ for a blessing, and the Ordinance of Man is set at the right hand of Christ by the world; but the Lord Christ, he crosses hands, and he laies the blessing upon the younger brother in this respect. And so, two men are brought before him; a proud Pharisee, and a poor broken-hearted sinner; the Pharisee comes unto the right-hand of Christ, & thinks for Page  85to carry the blessing: but the Lord Christ, crosses hands, & laies the right-hand blessing upon the poor broken-hearted sinner, and passes by the proud Pharisee. The Lord Christ doth not blesse as the world blesseth.

Again, As he doth not Bless as the World Blesseth, [Answ. 2] so he doth not Bless alwaies as Professors Bless. Professors, they do ordinari∣ly Blesse men, according unto their outward Priviledges, Gospel, and Church-Priviledges: Oh! saies the woman unto Christ, Blessed is the womb that bare thee: and blessed are the paps that gave thee suck. Christ crosses hands. Nay but (saies Christ) Blessed are those that hear the word of God, and keep it, and do my Commandements. You blesse according to Outward Priviledges; I don't go that way of blessing, saies Christ: He does not blesse as Professors blesse al∣waies.

Thirdly, He does not blesse as Godly men do blesse alwaies; [Answ. 3] as Gracious men blesse, not alwaies. For, you that are Godly, you pronounce such a man blessed, as hath much Grace, and hath Assurance of the love of God in Christ; and one that hath strong, and great Parts, and able to carry away whole Sermons word for word; and of strong Memory, and large Gifts, that are head and shoulders above their fellows: But the Lord Jesus Christ does not alwaies blesse thus: Blessed are the poor in spirit, saies he. Blessed are those that mourn. He don't say, Blessed are those that rejoyce; or, Blessed are those that have the Assurance of Gods love; or, Blessed are those that are strong in grace: No, but do∣est thou know a poor, weak Christian, a mourning soul like a dove of the vallies; saies the Lord, I blesse him.

Thus I say, the Lord Jesus Christ our great High-Priest, he does not Blesse as We blesse; he does not blesse as the World blesses; he does not blesse alwaies as Professors blesse; he does not blesse alwaies as Godly men Blesse; and therefore no wonder that his Blessing is hidden. Chil∣dren when they are very young, are often blest by their Pa∣rents, and they don't mind it, or take notice of it; chil∣dren of two or three year old: And so it is with many a Page  86gracious soul, blessed by Jesus Christ, and don't take no∣tice of their fathers blessing. But the Lord Christ doth al∣waies blesse his people; only, there are several times, speci∣all seasons that he gives out his blessing: let me tell ye of those times a little, that so ye may come for his blessing while his hand is in, as it were: so that you may be crow∣ned with spiritual blessings in and from Jesus Christ.

First, [unspec 1] When Christ our High-Priest doth see that a man is weak in Grace, or weak in Gifts, and hath some work, or service for him to do, some imployment to call him forth unto; then the Lord Christ doth Blesse him. There are Two times especially (as I remember) that the Lord speaks those words concerning man, Increase and Multiply. Once in the beginning, when he had made man and woman; And once in the 9. of Genesis, when he had brought Noah out of the Ark: Why does he rather choose for to speak those words, Increase and Multiply, at these Two times especially, rather than at any other time? In the beginning there was but a little stook of man-kind, and the Lord had a design upon man, to make use of him in the world; and therefore in the beginning saies he, Increase and Multiply: but afterward, that the floud had swept away man, Noah and his family being pre∣served, when he came out of the Ark, the Lord having yet a further design upon man, to use him, he reneweth those words again, Increase and Multiply. So when the Lord Christ sees, that a mans heart is upright, and sincere with him, and he hath some work and service for him to do, then the Lord comes forth and blesses him; O soul, Increase and Multiply, increase in thy Gifts, and Graces, and Multiply. That is one.

Again, [unspec 2] As the Lord doth blesse weak Gifts, and Graces, when he intends to use them: so also, when as he hath made use of a man; when a man hath done the work of God, and done it to purpose, then the Lord blesses that man. Melchisedec, a great Type of Christ, here when Abraham had been upon a great service, slaying Kings, and resoued Lot, then Melchisedec the High-Priest▪ comes forth and blesses him. So when the Lord Je∣sus Page  87Christ our great High-Priest, sees that a poor soul hath been upon his work, upon his service, and hath done his work faithfully; then he comes forth and blesses that soul, O soul, live for ever.

Again, As he does blesse at this time, [unspec 3] when a man hath done his work; so also, when a man is willing for to leave all his Relations, and natural ingagements for to follow him, to cleave close unto him, and to his waies, and ordi∣nances. The Lord blessed Abraham, Thou shalt be blessed. In Blessing I will Blesse thee, and thou shalt be blessed. Upon what occasion? Abraham (saies he) get thee out of thy Coun∣try, and go to a land, and place that I will shew thee. and Abra∣ham did so, Abraham puld up his Tent, and went after the Lord, and left his own Relations: and thereupon the Lord fell upon him, and blest him. So when the Lord Christ our High-Priest, sees a soul willing, even to trample upon his Relations for to follow him; willing to leave all natu∣ral ingagements for to be his servant; then the Lord Christ comes out, and saies he, This soul do I blesse: In blessing I will blesse thee, and I will blesse thee exceedingly. That is a Third time.

Fourthly, The Lord Christ our High-Priest, does blesse, [unspec 4] when the world Curses. a speciall time of Christs blessing is, when the world Curses. When Rabshekah reviled, blasphemed and Cursed, then God blest. When Balak hired Balaam for to Curse the people of Israel, then the Lord blest them by the mouth of Balaam himself. And ye see what Christ saies to this purpose, in that same 5. chapter of Matthew, at the 10. verse. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousnesse sake: But when are they blessed? Blessed are ye when men shall re∣vile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsly for my sake. Blessed are ye when men shall persecute you. I but, suppose it don't come to a bodily persecution, men may not be thrown in prison, or brought to the stake. Saies he, Blessed are ye when men shall Revile, persecute you with the tongue, and say all manner of evil against you for my sake. When the world saies of such a poor soul, That he is Page  88an Hypocrite, a dissembler, and speaks all manner of evil that can be divised against a poore soule for the Name of Christ; that is the very time, that Christ comes for to bless that soule, then doth Christ blesse; it's a blessed sea∣son.

In the Fift place, [unspec 5] The Lord Christ does also Bless, when as Peo∣ple do graciously injoy the Ordinances, purely, and Evangelically administred. It is said concerning Zion, There command∣ed he his blessing for ever,*Blessed are the people that hear the joyful sound: they shall walk in the light of his countenance. It is written of the Priests in the times of the Old-Testament, that when the people, the Congregation were come toge∣ther, they blest them: when the People were come toge∣ther, for the injoyment of Ordinances according to Gods own appointment, then the Priests blest them. And did their High-Priest blesse them then? and shall not our High Priest do it now? Did their High-Priest blesse them when they sate under Mosaical Ordinances? and shall not our High-Priest blesse the people that sit under Evangelical, and Gospel-Ordinances purely, & Evangelically administred? The people then might make account of the greatest bles∣sing; and so may you do also, of the blessing of Jesus Christ when thus you do enjoy Ordinances. Only there is this difference: (other differences there are, but this only I shall speak of) Then the Priest did blesse the people when the Congregation was dismist: but now, the Lord Jesus Christ our great High-Priest, he is blessing of the Congre∣gation all the while; he is going up and down in the Con∣gregation all the while that the Word is preached, and Ordinances administred, and he is blessing poor souls, as they sit longing after him, and sighing towards him; he is blessing of them all the while. Thus he does blesse, and though you don't alwaies perceive it, yet he doth blesse his people. [Quest. 5] And that's the Fourth thing.

But yet you will say, How does all this conduce unto our Comfort, [Answ.] and unto our Holiness?

Much every way:

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First for Comfort, Beloved, Is it not a Comfortable thing to be blessed by Jesus Christ? Children counted it a great matter to be blest by their parents. when as Jacob had got∣ten the Blessing from Esau; Esau goes and fits down, and mourns, he could not be comforted because the blessing was gone: and Jacob, though he were thrust out of doors, yet because he had gotten the Blessing, he went away cheer∣full; and it was but an Isaac's Blessing. But behold a greater then Isaac is here! Oh! was it such a matter to have an Isaac's Blessing? what is it then to be Blessed by Jesus Christ? Beloved! when as Christ doth bless, he turns all our Curses into Blessings, and our Miseries into Mercies. When God Curses, he turns our Table into a Snare: and when Christ Blesseth, he turnes our snare in∣to a Table, quite contrary. Jacob pronounced a Curse upon his two sons, Simeon and Levi (you know upon what occasion) They should be divided and scattered in Israel: afterward the Tribe of Levi stands up at the cōmandement of God to execute Justice & Judgment, & the Lord blest them: And how did he bless them? They were to be the Preachers unto all the Tribes; and so that they might be Preachers unto all the Tribes, they were to be scattered into all the tribes, & so Jacobs curse was turned into a blessing to them.

Is it not a Comfortable thing, for a man to have all his Cursers, to be Blessers? It's a Comfortable thing, for all a mans Cur∣ses, to become Blessings: But now I say, it's a Comfortable thing, for al a mans Cursers, to be Blesters to him. Whē the Lord Christ Blesses, he will make mens Cursers, whether they wil or no, (in the day of their visitation at least) for to Bless. Ye know that Balaam would have Cursed Israel, but the Lord had blest them. Balaam got upō a high mountain, and from thence he would have Cursed Israel, but it would not be. Then he gets upon another high Mountain, & from thence he would have Cursed Israel, but it would not be. Then he gets upon another high Mountain: thinking that would have done it, and from thence he would have Cur∣sed Israel, but that would not do it. Oh! saies he, The Page  90Lord hath seene no iniquity in Israel, and therefore he Blesses them: the Curse is turned into a Blessing: So there are ma∣ny that deale thus by the people of God in these daies: They get upon such a high Mountain, such a great and high means, and they think to Curse the people of God from thence, but it won't be. Then they get upon ano∣ther Mountain, another means, thinking from thence to Curse the people of God, but it will not be. Then they get upon another high Mountain or hill, and think then to Curse the people of God, and do them mischief, but it will not do it. Why? for the Lord Christ sees no iniqui∣ty, the Lord Christ hath blest them: and so at last, in the day of wicked mens visitation, they are forced to say, These are the people of God, and these are Blessed, and shall be blessed. We know what is said in the Scripture, The blessing of the Lord maketh rich: and he addeth no sorrow therewithal. Is it not a good thing then, to be blest by Christ? If a man be blessed by Jesus Christ, he may blesse himself in the Lord, and he may comfort himself in every Condition, and he may say thus, Well, though I be a Poor man, yet I am blest by Christ: And though my Estate be sunk, and decai∣ed, yet I am blest by Christ: And though I be reproached, and hated by men, yet I am blessed by Jesus Christ; a man may comfort himself in every condition.

But you will say, [Object.] Indeed if a man be assured that Christ hath blest him, he may do thus; but I am afraid that Christ hath not blest me, or that he is not willing to bless me: if I could be assured, that this great High-Priest, had once laid his hand, his blessing∣hand upon me, I should have comfort in all conditions.

Give me leave to lay Two or Three things before you concerning this. [Answ.]

First, [unspec 1] When the Lord blest Abraham, he said unto him, In thee, and thy seed shall all Nations be Blest. It's a sign unto Abraham, that he was blest, because others were blessed by him. So now, when a mans Parts, Gifts, Graces, and Comforts are blessings to others, it is an argument that that man is blest himself.

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Further, When a man is blessed by God, or Christ; [unspec 2] he is drawn nearer to God by all outward things, by all things: Come ye Blessed, Go ye Cursed. Blessing hath an attractive Nature, Come ye Blessed: when the Lord Christ does bless a man, he does draw him, Come ye Blessed. When a man is brought nearer to God by Affliction, he is blessed: when a man is brought nearer to God by his Estate, by any Comfort, by any Sorrow, here is blessing, Come ye Blessed. Blessing draws one nearer to God with a cord of love.

Thirdly, Where the Lord does Bless, he does cause a man to Increase and Multiply, in that thing wherein he is Blest. [unspec 3] Increa∣sing and Multiplying, is so natural unto Blessing, that in the Original tongues of the old and new Testament, Plenty is put for Blessing. I will give you but one clear place for it in the new Testament, the 2 Cor. 9. Chapter, 5. verse. Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto ye, and make up before hand your Bounty. The word is, your Blessing. Where∣of you had notice before; that the same might be ready as a matter of Bounty. The word is, as a matter of Blessing. But especially in the next verse. But this I say, he which sow∣eth sparingly, shal reap sparingly: and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap bountifully. And he which soweth with Blessing (as it is in the Original) shall reap with Blessing: And here 'tis opposed to Sparingly, and translated Bounti∣fully. Where the Lord does blesse, he does alwaies cause a man to Increase and Multiply.

Now beloved in the Lord, I appeal unto all your souls, you that make this Objection, that are afraid the Lord Christ hath not blest you as your High-Priest, hath not laid his hand upon you, and blest you: yet don't ye know more of Christ than ye have known before? hath not the hidden truths of the Gospel been increased and multiplied upon your hearts? hath not your hearts been brought nee∣rer to God by Affliction? hath not your souls been drawn neerer to God by his outward dealings with you? And as Abraham was therefore blest, because he was made a bles∣sing Page  92to others: So I appeal to ye, have not your Parts, Gifts, and Graces, in some measure been blessings unto others, e∣ven unto your poor Family, and unto others also? Then be of good Comfort (man or woman) where ever thou stand'st, the Lord Christ hath blest thee, and thou shalt be blessed, hold up thy head poor blessed soul, the Lord Jesus hath blest thee: when the Lord did lay this blessing upon thee, I cannot till thee, but I find thee a blessed man, stay thy self upon the Lord, cheer up thy drooping heart, thou art a blessed soul.

But you will say, [Quest.] How does this make unto our Holiness? I confess this is a very Comfortable Cordial, That the Lord Jesus Christ is in office to bless poor sinners; but how does this conduce unto our Holinesse?

Very much: [Answ.] This holds forth great incouragement, unto all poor sinners for to come to Christ, and to come without delay. Why? Once come to Christ and blessed; but without Christ and Cursed: an enemy to Jesus Christ and a Cursed man: Cursed in thy store-house: Cur∣sed in thy basket; and Cursed in all things that thou puttest thine hand unto. Oh! then, will you not come to Christ, that you may be Blessed: That day that a poor soul comes unto Christ, whatever he hath been he is blessed: that day may be called Gilgal, for then the Curse is rouled away from him. Blessed is the man whose ini∣quity is forgiven, and whose sin is pardoned. The first day, the first minute that he comes to Christ, his sin is pardoned, and he is blessed. Who would not then come unto Christ presently, that he may be blest for ever? When as Esan had sold his Birth-right for a mess of pottage, the Lord look't upon him as a Prophane man, and he stands upon record in Scripture for a Prophane man unto this day, because he sold his Birth-right. And saies the text, Though he sought the Blessing (it was a blessing) with tears, he never recovered it. The Lord Jesus Christ, he is now among us, and offering to bless us; and if I will rather keep my sins than come un∣to Jesus Christ, the Lord will look upon me as a Prophane Page  93man; and I may go and seek the blessing with tears, and never recover it again. Oh! here's that (me thinks) that should make every wicked man; if there be ever a Drun∣kard, Swearer, or Unclean wanton that reades this book, mind what is said for your Everlasting peace: I say, here's that (me thinks) that should make every wicked man, to look upon the Godly, as David did upon the sparrows, and upon the swallows: Saies David, These birds full nigh thine Altar may, have place to sit and sing: as ye have it in your singing Psalms. These birds can come and make their nests; but as for me, I am kept at a distance: He was provo∣ked by the sparrows, and swallows making their nests neer the Altar. So may a wicked man say, There's a god∣ly man indeed, he may go to Jesus Christ, he may go to Pra∣yer, and he may offer up his Gift to God the Father by the hands of Christ, he can come neer to God by Christ: But as for me, I am yet without Christ, I am not yet gone to Je∣sus Christ; I am such a cursed Swearer, I am such a pro∣phane Drunkard, I am such a vile, wretched Wanton, such a Notorious, Scandelous sinner: Oh! these people are blessed, but I am Cursed, but now through the Lords grace I will go unto the Lord Christ that I may be blessed.

Yea, My beloved, here is (me thinks) a strong Invitati∣on, unto all those that are young people for to come unto Jesus Christ: even those that are very young. Hear the word of the Lord ye Children. The Lord Jesus Christ re∣ceived Children into his armes, and he blest them. You that are nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, or fif∣teen years old; you can be solicitous for your fathers bles∣sing, and have gone down upon your knees often unto your father, and you have said, Pray father, pray to God to bless me. Oh! will ye go to your outward father for his blessing? and will ye not go unto Jesus Christ? He is an Everlasting Father, this your earthly father will be dead erelong; He is an Everlasting father (children) and he is able to bless ye, and willing to bless ye. Have ye gone Page  94down upon your knees to your outward father? Oh! chil∣dren, down, down upon your knees before the Lord Jesus Chrit, and go to him for his blssing. Some of you (it may be) never went yet to Christ for his blessing; ye have lived so many yeers, ten, eleven, or twelve yeers, and ne∣ver went to Christ as a High-Priest, for his blessing all this while: Oh! what a mighty incouragement is here unto all men to come to Christ, that they may be blessed by him.

But yet further, [unspec 2] As there is an incouragement for to come unto Christ: So this argument does also incourage us to go on in the good waies of Christ, notwithstanding all opposition that we meet withall: (I say) it does speak incouragement, to go on in the face of all opposition. For when Abraham had been at battel, then came Melchisedec the High-Priest to bless him: And when a poor soul goes out to battel for Christ, then comes our great Melchisedec, our High-Priest, and blesses that soul. The time of opposition, it is the time of Christs blessing. Therefore, why should I be dil∣couraged, or beaten out of the way of Christ, by reason of any opposition, though it be never so great? Times of op∣position are Christs blessing-time.

Again, [unspec 3] This argument, does not only speak incourage∣ment against all oppsition: But it does also incourage us to go on in the good waies of God when we are called unto it, though we have but little strength, and weak parts. Though there be but little oyle in the Cruse, though there be but little meal in the barrel, if Christ call to the work, he will bless a man in it: and when Christ blesses, he does multiply and in∣crease a mans parts in the using of them. As when he com∣manded them to sit down, and eat, he did multiply, and in∣crease the bread in their eating: So now, does Christ call me to any work or service, well then, though I am weak, though I have not oyle enough, though I have not meal e∣nough, though I have not strenght enough; yet the Lord Christ will bless, and when he blesses, he does increase and multiply: and therefore, why should I not go on upon his Page  95work, if he do call mee thereunto, though I have never so little strength.

And yet further, If all this be true: [unspec 4] Why should not a man be contented with his condition, though it be never so mean? Beloved in the Lord! is there not enough in Christs blessing? Truly, He is too covetous, whom the blessing of Christ will not satisfie. Well, what ever my condition be, yet I may be blessed by Jesus Christ; and hath the Lord blest me? then will I be contented with my Condition, though it be never so mean, I have-All, as Jacob oncesaid, I have All.

Yea in the Fift and last place: Here is that, [unspec 5] (which if wel studied and considered) will provoke us all for to bless the Lord, and continually to blesse the Lord! What is the life of a Christian here, but a continuall blessing of God? 'tis Heaven begun: and in Heaven, they do nothing else, but blesse and praise the Lord; and, I say, our life here, is Heaven begun: and therefore a Christian should be alwaies blessing and praising the Lord.

Well, But what will make a man to be alwaies Blessing, [Quest.] and Praising of God in Christ?

The knowledge that a man is blessed by Christ, [Answ.] wil make a man blesse God for Christ. And therefore consider how the Apostle reasons, in the 1. of the Ephesians, & the 3. vers. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: Why? Who hath blessed ƲS. When once a man can come to this, for to say, That the Lord Christ hath blest him; then he will break forth into blessing and praising of the Lord; Oh! Blessed be the Lord: Blesse the Lord, O my soul; & blesse the Lord all that is within me: For the Lord hath blessed me with spiritual blessings. Do you therefore de∣sire to be alwaies in this work of blessing the Lord? think much of this.

To conclude al; give me leave to cal upon you, to remem∣ber what ye have read. Ye have read, That it is the work of our great High-Priest, To Satisfie for the sins of the people. To answer unto all Accusations that are brought against them: To Page  96offer up all our Prayers, and Gifts vnto God the Father: And to Bless poor souls. Now then beloved, according to all your Wants, and according to all your Temptations; I do be∣seech you in the Lord, Go to Jesus Christ, unto this High-Priest; try and see if you don't find it true, That the Lord does make good all this unto you. In case that you be un∣der any spiritual Want, or Temptation; put your souls unto this Disjunction: Come, O my soule, Either the Lord Jesus Christ is our great High-Friest; or else he is not: If he be not, what means this and that Scripture? And if the Lord Jesus Christ be our great High-Priest; then sure∣ly he being faithful, will do all the work of the High-Priest for my soul. Indeed I have sinned, and sinned greatly; but O Lord, it is the work of our High-Priest to Satisfie: Now, Lord Jesus, I come to thee as mine High-Priest, Oh! Satisfie for me. Indeed, I confesse, mine own Conscience does Accuse me, Satan does Accuse me, Moses does Accuse me: but it is the work of our great High-Priest, to take off all Accusations brought against poor beleevers: Now Lord, I do come unto thee, as to my great High-Priest, Oh! take off this Accusation that any poor soul does labour under. Indeed, when I look upon mine own Duties; there is so much deadness, so much hardness of heart, and so many distractions that do accompany them, that I am a∣fraid they will never be accepted: but, O Lord, it is the work of our great High-Priest, to take away the weeds of the Duty, and to present the Duty; now O Lord, I come unto thee as mine High-Priest, Oh! carry my Prayers into the bosom of God the Father. Yea, when I look upon my former life, Lord, I cannot but conclude my self, a poor cursed finner: but yet notwithstanding, it is the work of our great High-Priest, for to blesse the people: O Lord, I do therefore now come unto thee as mine High-Priest, Oh! blesse me, and say unto all my graces, Increase and Multiply.

FINIS.